Monday, 26 October 2009

The future looks anything but easy

Mike Freer's Future Shape report, complete with easyCouncil elements, went through Barnet council's cabinet meeting on Wednesday 21 October, as we knew it would.

It was a depressing experience for those of us who oppose it, showing that Freer can ride out a certain amount of political flak - Future Shape has been controversial since it was first mooted and a head of steam built up against it, but not enough. Now Future Shape is going on to its next phase.

Some of us thought that Freer would be kicking himself when Future Shape was tagged as easyCouncil, but I always suspected that he intended that to happen. He likes his easy labels, does Freer. He thinks that's all voters can understand.

One of Freer's refrains is 'if the voters don't like it, they can vote us out in 2010', or words to that effect. On such occasions, I reply that he has a very shallow conception of democracy, whereupon he sits back and look smug because, shallow conception that it is, that IS about all the democracy we have!

The last word is far from being spoken on Future Shape. For my part, I'll go into some of the details in future posts.

Here is a selection of reports about the Future Shape plan from the mainstream media. For the most part, they read like rehashes of council press releases:

BBC - Council pledges 'radical' plans
Guardian - Council backs radical 'easyJet' services plan
Telegraph - Book me a seat on low-cost easyCouncil
Telegraph - Bin taxes are back! Two councils want to charge families more that do not recycle

An exception is a report in the local Hendon Times reflecting some of the anxieties of the council workforce.

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