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2:56AM

Video: Full interview with Leader of Barnet Council, Richard Cornelius 25 June 2015

Barnet Council invited The Barnet Bugle to sit down with their Leader, Cllr Richard Cornelius to discuss his vision for the next period 2015-2020 encapsulated in their recently published Corporate Plan.

We have wanted for sometime for our viewers and readers to hear answers from Richard Cornelius himself some of the more often levelled charges.

In the spirit of full disclosure we should point out that neither of us had notes, I certainly was flying by the seat of my pants. The only communication between the Council and us was an invitation to conduct the interview, a time and place, duration and that we could film it. There was no advance notification of questions.
Amongst other things, during the interview I asked the Leader of the Council
  • How is Barnet doing things different now than in the past?
  • Providing better services despite having much lower funding from government whilst holding down Council Tax?
  • Is Barnet going to outsource everything that moves?
  • How will the Council deal with complaints from residents that outsourced companies are unable to resolve?
  • How can Councillors get to grip with a service that is no longer under their direct control but they feel it not performing?Does he think the Library consultation was a disaster in being condemned by the three local MPs?
  • Are the Conservatives going to close Libraries almost for the sake of it?Are Councillors in control of the Council or are Officers running rings around them?
  • What is his view on 'affordable' housing?
2:54AM

Video: Full Council Tuesday 28th July, 2015 7.00 pm

Full Council Tuesday 28th July, 2015 7.00 pm papers here

3:53PM

Video: Trailer of our exclusive interview with Leader of Barnet Council, Cllr Richard Cornelius

...the full interview to follow soon.

7:35PM

Video: Labour London Mayoral hustings in Wood Green 24 July 2015

Our full and exclusive coverage of Wood Green #londonselects London Mayoral hustings

On panel from left to right: Sadiq Khan MP,  Christian Wolmar, Gareth Thomas MP, Tessa Jowell, David Lammy MP and Diane Abbott MP.

Friday 24 July 2015, Heartlands High School
Some highlights below
8:21PM

Video: Barnet Labour's Housing Commission Session Six 8 July 2015

The Barnet Labour Group held the sixth evidence session on Thursday 8 July. Top of the bill was Nicholas Boys Smith of the social enterprise Create Streets supporting street based low rise housing (that all evidence suggests British people strongly prefer to high rise). We are huge fans of Create Streets and are happy that our suggestion to invite them to the Commission was taken up by Barnet Labour. At the end of a long session, which unusually ran over, there were still a number of questions that there weren't time to be answered.

Apologies for the poor acoustics. Below is an audio enhanced HD video of Mr Boys Smith session...

...and the full event below as usual.

The next evidence session of the Barnet Labour Group Housing Commission takes place next Wednesday 8 July 7pm-10pm at the Park Road Youth & Community Centre, West Hendon NW4 3QB. The Commissioners will be hearing evidence from

 

  • Nicholas Boys Smith, Founder of Create Streets – a non-partisan social enterprise and independent research institute focusing on the built environment,
  • Maggie Rafalowicz, Associate Director at Campbell Tickell – a leading consultancy in the housing, social care, regeneration and charity sectors

 

  • Tom Copley AM who has been campaigning on housing issues including standards in the private rented sector, affordable housing and Right To Buy.
  • 4:41PM

    Comment: Have Barnet's Councillors Now Outsourced All Political Debate too?

    This isn't intended to be a swipe, so much, at either Barnet Unison or Barnet Council's Officer Corps (although both may have some respective questions about their contributions). But where are Barnet's elected Members in the big public debate over the future of how services are delvered?

    Wouldn't one normally expect senior Conservative Councillors to be arguing passionately and coherently over all available media for the approach they are pursuing and the Labour Councillors similarly to be leading the attack and presenting their alternative?

    It would seem that both Conservatives and Labour and have decided to 'outsource' the political debate (with some notable exceptions) to other actors. How healthy is this for democracy in Barnet that the voters can't see and hear their elected representatives themselves engaging on the big issues but only what can be seen as their proxies?

    Below are two clear expositions one supporting and one opposing Barnet Council's current corporate approach. They are pretty much the only two articles on this subject - certainly for the supportive case - to highlight our comment above.

    9:23PM

    Video: Day Three of Hadley Wood Synagogue Planning Public Inquiry (Adjourned till October 12th)

    At the end of the brief afternoon session the Inspector conducted a site visit at Lancaster Avenue. She adjorned the Inquiry that was scheduled to end that day until 12 October 2015 for another three days of hearings.

    12:06AM

    Video: Day Two of Hadley Wood Synagogue Planning Public Inquiry

    More to follow