Monday 31 August 2015

URGENT: Act to save Cricklewood's last green open space from Barnet Council's land grab

Guest Post From the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Development

Act to save Cricklewood's last green open space from Barnet Council's land grab

Cricklewood Open Space (Thomas Bell Photographs)

This is what Barnet Council says to justify the selling off of Cricklewood's last green space:

The subject plot fronting B&Q, on Cricklewood Lane is currently an open space primarily used as a disabled access ramp to the B&Q store. It is regularly fly-tipped and attracts rough sleepers among other social issues such as alcohol and substance misuse. The proximity to local businesses means on-going disturbance to businesses, environmental degradation, and Health & Safety concerns resulting from substance/alcohol misuse and excessive littering. Retention of the site in its existing condition would not only allow these problems to continue, but also drain the Council’s resources in terms of on-going management costs. 

Campaigners and residents from Barnet and Council came together in November 2013  to protest at the possible disposal of the green space outside B&Q in Cricklewood and are organising again as a planning application to build on it goes before Barnet Council on September 7th.

November 2013
The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Development sent this message over the weekend:

Barnet  Councilare meeting on September 7th to discuss the sale of Cricklewood’s only green space, outside B&Q. It was given as public open space in 1987 when the retail park was built. Crown Estates sold it to Barnet in 2004 with a stipulation it would not be built on.  Barnet have managed to remove this requirement, and are selling public land with no public consultation.

All the known Cricklewood Green Space material is now on the BX Coalition website  LINK - scroll down for the last few postings there:

Actions you can take
-          Tweet @Barnetcouncil using #CricklewoodGreen
-          Sign the petition if you haven’t before and ask your neighbours to sign LINK
-          Write to the papers
-          Write to the committee about the sale of public land without consultation,
-          Join us in a protest outside the meeting on September 7th (check blog)
-          Keep checking the blog and Twitter @BXcoalition

From the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Development
Our co-ordinator  Alison is on holiday, please contact

Monday 3 August 2015

Barnet June supplier payments - £11.5 million to Capita and £1.8 million to Comensura

In June Capita were paid in total £11,520,890.74; £7.66 million on the CSG contract and £3.86 million on the Re contract. I wonder how this will pan out over the rest of the financial year.

Comensura were paid an astonishing £1.8 million in just one month for interim and agency staff. This is a contract managed by Capita who are receiving massive rewards for apparently saving us money on this contract. It is completely beyond me that a contract that continues to grow so hugely should attract reward payments to Capita of hundreds of thousands of pounds in gainshare payments for two years running.

Conway Aecom have been busily repairing road and billed £938,951.93 in June and our friends from Impower consulting pick up a shade under £47,000.While on the subject of consultants,PA Consulting were paid £40,600 in June  - I wonder what that was for?  The council also spent £36,271.82 with a company called Wider Plan who specialise in employee benefits; their website is here.

I wonder what was so important that Barnet had to spend £16,765 hiring the Ariana Banqueting Suite at North London Business Park. I know from previous invoices that this must have included two quite substantial events.

As always I will continue to monitor Barnet's spending