If you have ever sat in the public gallery for a Barnet council cabinet meeting when chief executive Nick Walkley has been there, be sure you have been thoroughly surveyed. Walkley likes to check out just who is in the room; it's his job to know the lie of the land politically, the size and composition of the opposition to any measure the administration is putting through.
That's how I interpret this invitation from the council to a meeting for people who might be thinking of standing in the council elections. The mainstream parties know who is standing for them, Nick Walkley probably knows who is standing for each party. But he doesn't know what is going on out there, in no-party-affiliation land. He must be getting twitchy.
I went to the recent Residents' Association of Barnet (RAB) meeting that discussed independent candidacies. I haven't written a report, partly because I've been too busy and partly because... I don't want to give anything away! Ha!
It's fair to say that I wouldn't stand as a RAB candidate, because I think their platform is too woolly and not left-wing enough, but do I know others who might be thinking of standing? Aha! That would be telling!
P.S. Worth noting as well that the workshop for potential candidates is being run by Barnet's favourite think tank IDeA. Them again.