This is what Freer says in his 'Leader Listens' blog:
Barnet too interested in health consultation – shockHe has a point, but it is exactly the point he dismissed so sneeringly during the sheltered housing wardens consultation: he wasn't surprised that so many residents and their supporters got involved in the consultation and he wasn't surprised that they didn't like the proposals, after all, they believed it was going to harm them. Therefore, he felt he didn't have to take much notice of what they said. That is exactly what Healthcare for London has decided to do here. Are you surprised, Mike? You are being hypocritical.
These are issues about which Barnet residents feel very strongly. So strongly in fact that 27 per cent of all the residents in London who responded to the survey are from Barnet, 2335 out of the 8611 total - by far the highest of any London borough. Response to the London-wide consultation varied from a low of 43 responses in Tower Hamlets to around 500 or so in other areas where campaigns were held to encourage response.
There are two ways of looking this. Either Barnet Council is so effective at encouraging consultation that we produce a response four to ten times larger than other boroughs. Or, people in Barnet feel that the proposals do not meet the needs they have of the healthcare system. Tempting though it is to claim credit, I cannot help but feel that the latter is the case.
The response of Ipsos MORI who have conducted the research for Healthcare for London is to treat Barnet as an oddity, to publish figures for Barnet separately and to highlight the views of the rest of London if Barnet is taken out of the equation. This seems to me absurd.
The boroughs where the public mood most closely matches that of Barnet are, unsurprisingly, Enfield and Haringey. Obviously north-west London is unhappy with plans that place support for emergency treatment so far away from us…
This consultation shows that north-west London has real concerns about these plans....