Thursday, March 29, 2007

Labour MP for Hendon - "It is a matter of pride to me that I have been a high spender (of £37,000 taxpayers money on stationary)

Shadow Leader of the House rounds on the Labour MP for Hendon over his rather large stationary expenses. Excerpts below. Full link here.

Theresa May, "According to the official figures, several Members already claim more than £20,000 a year in stationery and postage costs. I see that the hon. Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore) is in his place in the Chamber, and we may well hear from him later on how he spent £37,000 of taxpayers' money on stationery."

Labour MP for Hendon, "...I would simply say that those people who are concerned about the issue should read my comments in the previous debate, in which I quoted a large number of constituents who were grateful to receive the information that I was providing to them. It is a matter of pride to me that I have been a high spender, because it shows that I have been working as hard as I can to keep my constituents informed. I simply regret that today's decision will mean that I am less able to do that."

Theresa May, "I simply point out, as I did in the previous debate, that although he says that his communications with his constituents are gladly welcomed, turnout in his constituency at the election was just 58 per cent. In fact, he had a larger drop in his percentage share of the vote than Members in neighbouring constituencies did. Perhaps he might like to think about that, and reflect that his voters might like him a little bit more if they heard from him less."

Barnet to sell off playing fields to fund school building story

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Underhill Enquiry

Does anyone know what is the latest news on the Underhill Enquiry. It's all gone dreadfully quiet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Hello fellow souls! Thank you for tuning in to this new fangled blog things ( We're a bunch of old duffers who remember the Council as it used to be in the old days (when Councillors worked for free - for public duty - and actually ran the Council). We're more Conservative leaning than anything else but those involved come from all backgrounds and this is not one of those websites that will be attacking one side or the other for political gain.

Now they are paid rather large sums of money but Barnet Council no longer really exists, in the same way as when we were young sprogs, but is effectively the Government Department for Barnet (GDfB). It's Officers, headed by the very highly paid (in excess of £160,000 a year + expenses) Chief Executive Mr Boland look to where the money comes from for instructions. At Barnet the Councillors are told to become 'local champions'. This means they have to rabble rouse for their electorate and hope that if they kick up enough fuss one of the Officers may take pity on them.

A second thing that us oldies are worried about is how the moves to real openness since 1972 are now in reverse. All of the main decisions are taken behind closed doors with 'Cabinet' members in pally chatty meetings with their Officers. Often outnumbered by Officers present it takes a very wily 'Cabinet' member to not be bamboozled.

So we've been given some help and like so many 'silver surfers' in retirement we're making use of this typewriter and television set up to speak to you all.

We have a lot of contacts from our years of service and need the support of those in the know including Council Officers, Councillors, Political folks, voluntary sector people and local folk using the Freedom of Information Act to get information out of the GDfB that they would rather not share and certainly do not publicise!

Please do cover your tracks. We will hold everything in total confidence (unless you want it otherwise). Don't use Council or work email addresses to send us information or to send us off investigating in a certain direction. Go and get a free web email address from (our favourite) or elsewhere and use a pseudonym.

Let's start a little information revolution from the grass roots. We're not embarrassed about what we are doing but we are not looking for individual promotion or notoriety fame. Our articles will be written by more than one author and you will notice the change in styles. We have taken the decision to write in the style of the Economist, Private Eye and others where names are put on articles.

Bookmark and come back frequently.