Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Shooter down to his last bullet

Mark Shooter makes his final pitch for leadership of Barnet Tory group, and, thus, leadership of the council in the Times series.

He is going to move away from the Cabinet system, he says. That would be a good thing, in my opinion. I'm not an expert on local government constitutions, but I understand that under the current arrangements the full council doesn't run Barnet council, the Cabinet alone does.

There will be a new style:
“fling open the windows and let the disinfectant of sunlight pour in and an army of armchair auditors find savings to help us in our task”
I like the first bit, not sure about the second. Armchair auditors means we propose what to cut. Well, I can think of a few things that we would not miss, of course, but the general point I would make is that central government needs to give local government more money, not less.

Cloud cuckoo land? It's a question of your priorities. The rich are still getting richer - how is that right, when people are losing basic amenities, and there are people without a decent roof over their heads? (I have to say this sentence once every day, to keep me politically grounded.)

Making efficiencies in council spending and paring down the controversial Future Shape programme are also high on Cllr Shooter's priorities.
It's ironic indeed to see that cutting the Future Shape programme is now mentioned in the same breath as making efficiencies in council spending. So far, Future Shape has only cost Barnet money. Even if they do succeed in outsourcing most of the services, there is no guarantee that it will lead to savings.

The Tories' meeting is next week on Tuesday. What could happen between now and then? Do we think the die is cast? Has Shooter done enough? And, if he has, will we notice any difference between his leadership and Hillan's? One thing is for sure, if he wins there are going to be a lot more laboured puns on his name. Has anyone ever come up with one based on Hillan's name?

1 comment:

Mrs Angry said...

hmmm ... shortly to be 'over the hillan far away'?