Wednesday, 14 September 2011

How the Tories avoided debating One Barnet - a council report in 27 tweets

On Tuesday 13 September I was doing the day job, so I could only follow Barnet Unison's strike on Twitter! I learned that management did carry out their threatened lock-out: staff due to take a half-day strike were turned away from their desks from the moment they turned up.

Unfazed, they went to join fellow Unison members on the picket lines at the entrances to the North London Business Park. The pickets were observed by highly paid Assistant Directors - good use of their time?

Two coaches came to take the strikers around the borough to talk to residents about the council's crazy One Barnet outsourcing plan and distribute the Our Barnet newspaper.

In the evening I slipped away from work and went up to join them at the rally outside Hendon Town Hall, before the council meeting. I took some pictures of the rally; you can see them here.

After the rally, a few public went into the public gallery for the council meeting - it was not very full.

Mrs Angry, for one, who usually writes a comprehensive blog report of council meetings, could not attend this evening.

Assuming the role of Barnet Alliance tweetmistress for the evening I tweeted the proceedings using my creaky old mobile - there's nothing smart about my phone! I have posted the tweets below, to serve as a set of cryptic minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with Twitter, you can see the sort of things that are possible with it - warning, I am a rank amateur.

If you want to follow the Barnet Alliance on Twitter we are @BarnetAlliance. Tweets are usually more cogent than these ones were! I was tweeting as fast as I could! Barnet Unison are @barnet_unison.

I don't know what happened after the half-time interval at the council meeting, because I went for some supper in the noodle bar opposite the Town Hall. I learn later - via Twitter - that the Labour group walked out from the second half in protest at the way their Opposition debate on easyCouncil/One Barnet was cut short by the mayor, contravening the constitution.

I must say, council leader Richard Cornelius's defence of One Barnet was distinctly lukewarm. If the Tories are as divided over the wisdom of this, essentially, officer-driven programme as is rumoured, I'm not surprised they didn't want to talk about it. But it was shabby truncating the discussion.

The vast bulk of council services would be put out to tender under One Barnet; it deserves vastly more democratic scrutiny than it is getting. The Barnet strikers reported they were surprised how little residents know about One Barnet, as they met them around the borough today. Wake up, Barnet council - if you won't tell residents about One Barnet, the unions will have to!
A council report in 27 tweets (items nearest the top happened last so it's easiest to start at the bottom and read up)

Breaktime, barnet tweet service ends.

Barry rawlings: thatcher broke britain. Proud 2 stand beside unions. [Debate cut short bcos tories cant b arsed with it.]

The most unconvinced and unconvincing defence of #onebarnet from @barnetcouncil leader cornelius.

BarnetAlliance to self: this was Cornelius' sly dig at #NickWalkley. Probably done for public consumption, but fun even so!

Not mad keen on complicated flowcharts, mr walkley. Few wd argue with working with partners. We r pragmatic...

Cornelius: real villains of the piece r tony blair and gordon brown. Lot of waffle after that.

AM: Cabinet dont have a handle on their services. Staff r striking 4 quality of services.

JC: Only people who benefit r multinationals. Alison moore now...

Jack Cohen: tories r unconvinced one barnet can deliver, staff r dedicated, shdn't b outsourced.

New relationship with citizens: largest consultation ever over libraries [shame they ignore results].

@cllrrobertrams replies with a bit of union bashing. Cannot answer q of where easyccl savings come from.

Planning savings wd have come from increased revenue that wd have happened anyway.

Opposn item: easyccl is waste of money, flogging services off cheap, alienating staff + residents.

Thomas accepts Palmer's amendment if he'll amend it 2 say look at moving 2 cttee system. He does, so it's accepted.

Rowan Turner [where's our banner?]: localism bill will disperse power from centre 2 representative cllrs.

New corporate plan will only have 40pp says danielseal. All about how everyone treats eachother. Light-on-content speech!

Palmer moving an amendmt 2 tories' motion on localism bill: return 2 cttee system asap.

Lord Palmer asks why residents don't attend ccl mtgs. Problem with leader + cabinet system. Scrutiny inadeq

Motions @barnetcouncil: corporate plan - some targets shd b dropped [which?]

Friern b. library, nth finch, HGS: gap in provision will b as short as poss - @cllrrobertrams

BrianColeman: glad there r no silly cycling lanes in #barnet.

Police reviewing no. of brothels in the boro (predictacble titters)

Police cuts q by labour. Fall of 26 police 34 pcso in #barnet. Longstaff says no cuts...police r recruiting.

Davey has called Cooke a liar. Apparently he meant Johnson. Can't keep up...

Artsdepot agreed to library? robertrams: working up an agreement...

Allotments all 2 b selfmanaged by end of year in #barnet

In ccl mtg after v successful rally at end of v successful #barnetstrike day. BrianColeman pompous tone part. grating 2day for some reason.

1 comment:

Mrs Angry said...

well done apprentice tweeter: good job, even though you abandoned your post for noodles: weren't there enough noodles in the council chamber?