Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Medieval, bad for the poor, corrupt - the public verdict on Barnet easyCouncil

A quick report of the trade council stall at Barnet Christmas fair on Sunday 6 December. Sunny but, with the wind, very cold - I have a cough now. Never mind that.

As last year, we had a very good response from the fairgoing public. As last year, there was a lot of recognition of the issues around the council's 'reform' plans, which we were all calling 'Future Shape' last December and are calling 'easyCouncil' this December.

In the 12 months inbetween, we have seen few concrete proposals, but the council has spent a lot of money on consultants and created much anxiety, mainly among Barnet council staff but also among many residents.

We didn't find anyone on Sunday saying that the easyCouncil plan is a good idea. Here are some of the negative comments people made:
'It's medieval.'
'It will be bad for poorer areas.'
And, on the idea of fast-tracking planning applications for those who are prepared to pay more:
'That's bribery, isn't it?'
I couldn't have put it better myself.

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