Saturday, 21 August 2010

Mike Freer backs Hillan - maybe - and Meakins - definitely

A man of few words, on the Finchley and Golders Green Conservatives website, the MP for Finchley and Golders Green, Mike Freer, acknowledges the u-turn over allowances by Barnet council leader Lynne Hillan:
"The decision to rethink Councillor Allowances shows a mature Leader who listens to concerns. I am delighted that the new scheme will save taxpayers over £90,000 a year."
Perhaps he is giving a steer to his fans among Barnet Conservative councillors to support Hillan in her upcoming ding-dong, knock-down, drag-out fight with Mark Shooter.

He also backs Edward Meakins against Barnet Homes over the question of whether Mr Meakins should be kicked out of his home of 74 years:
Mike has contacted Barnet Homes about Edward Meakin's case

He said, "I have written to Barnet Homes asking them to reconsider their decision. I am aware that there is a shortage of family homes in the area but because of the exceptional circumstances their policy should be overruled on compassionate grounds."

3 comments:

baarnett said...

Vicky - you need to change your blog heading...

I see in the council's "Statement of Accounts" (http://www.barnet.gov.uk/statement-of-accounts) to March 2009 that:

"The council has recently developed a strong online presence, namely through our own social media website, whereilive.org. The council has also established a presence on facebook; twitter, flickr, and the Leader of the Council has launched his own Leader Listens website."

Has anyone been able to see "whereilive.org"? The domain name is still available, with and without a ".UK" at the end.

The "leaderlistens.com" domain name was renewed two months ago (it is not clear if our Council paid for this):

Expiration Date: 2011-06-16
Creation Date: 2008-06-16
Last Update Date: 2010-06-17
Registrant: Yellow Park, 32 Lower Range Road, Gravesend DA12 2QL.
Administrative contact: Easily Limited, 3rd Floor, Prospero House, 241 Borough High Street, London SE1 1GA. 08704 589450, 08704 589458.


The latest entry on "leaderlistens.com" (which uses the Barnet Council logo) is on 15 February 2010, when Lynne Hillan announces she will put details of her expenses on the web site every month. There are no later entries. Furthermore, the site (or its Internet Protocol entry) has recently been altered, to merely redirect to the main "www.barnet.gov.uk" web site.

Every year, under the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003, councils in England are required to open the books for 20 working days. We can see invoices, contracts and everything else to do with money about the council year just ended.

This is more powerful that the Freedom of Information Act - they have to publicly show everything connected with the previous year's accounts. Nothing can be redacted.

There is no sign of the 2009-2010 accounts on the council's web site. Does anyone know if thay have been produced, and when the "20 working days" will apply this year?

vickim57 said...

whereilive.org does indeed seem to have bitten the dust:
http://www.whereilive.org/

It wasn't well used, to put it mildly. I wrote this blogpost a year ago:
http://vickim57.blogspot.com/2009/02/httpwhereiliveorg.html

They tried to get the residents interested but I imagine if it had really gotten any life - like the Barnet council Facebook page - they would only have shut it down sooner!

I used to helpfully contribute the events the trades council was putting on to fill up the events pages, and they gamely added them, but there was only me and the sea scouts using it. You could pretty much guarantee that if you entered one of their competitions, you would win! An iPod Touch (whatever that is/was - no, I never did).

The council's "strong online presence" has never amounted to much in reality, but they were very quick (premature) to boast about it at numerous local government wonk conferences, where Barnet was lauded as a pioneer. Barnet, of course, is not so much celebrated these days, as notorious.

If they really knock Leader Listens on the head, I'll change my name, but let's see wait and see...

I don't know much about the accounts side, the other questions that you ask; that is the sort of thing Don't Call Me Dave was hot on.

Jaybird said...

Barnet Homes have backed down

http://www.barnethomes.org/News%20and%20Publications/PressReleases/Pages/StatementonEdwardMeakins.aspx