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 mail.google.com (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
Bookmark www.barnetcouncil.net and come back frequently.