Conservative Chief Whip and Chairman of the Budget OSC, Councillor Anthony "safe pair of hands" Finn got himself into a rare pickle at the Budget OSC meeting on 26 November. Sitting directly across the table from Deputy Leader of Barnet Council and Finance boss, Councillor Dan Thomas, he seemed to imply that the adminstration had 'past sins' to repent for.
Seeming to recognise the gaffe almost as soon as the words passed his lips, Cllr Finn tried to back-pedal on the words he had used. Some minutes later, he tried a less convincing retraction...
To audible guffaws he, not sounding very convinced himself, explains that he actually said 'fins' not 'sins'!
Budget Scrutiny, Budget and Performance Overview and Scrutiny Committee Tuesday 26th November 2013. Papers for the meeting can be found here
The Prime Minister for the second time insists on calling his fellow Conservative Matthew Offord 'the honourable gentleman' and not 'my honourable friend'. Most odd. Clip of the rather rowdy House buoyed up from the last question.
Dr Offord asks the Prime Minister if he will be visiting Israel who responds he hopes to make his first visit as PM in 2014.
As we reported consensus has broken about regarding the number of parking meters that are needed on Barnet's streets. The consensus was enabled after Barnet Labour hastily, and without any public explanation or consultation with traders or residents, cast aside their proposal for over 600 meters at a cost of £2.5m after less than six months.
The Bugle can now reveal the locations of the proposed forty new meters. The currently installed 19 are located:
- High Barnet - 4 meters. 2 in car parks, 2 on street
- Edgware - 4 on street meters
- Mill Hill - 3 on street meters
- North Finchley - 8 meters. 2 in car parks. 6 on street.
The remaining 40 are to be located:
- East Finchley - 4 on street meters (outside 46, 85, 127, 136 High Street)
- Golders Green - 5 on street meters (outside 54, 65, 132 & 146 (Solly's) and by Holders Hill Park)
- Temple Fortune - 8 on street meters (at various locations)
- Bittacy Hill - 1 on street meter outside 8 Bittacy Hill
- Brent Cross Station - 3 on street meters on Golders Green Road
- Hendon - 7 on street meters (2 on Brent Street)
- Church End - 6 on street meters (3 on Ballards Lane, 2 on Regents Park Road & 1 on Hendon Lane)
- Watling Avenue - 2 on street meters
- West Hendon Broadway - 1 on street meter outside of no 270 Herbert Road
- Cricklewood - 2 on street meters
Are 59 parking meters across the borough enough? Does your local shopping centre have enough parking meters under this plan supported by both Labour and the Conservatives?
Labour's Meg Hillier praises Mike Freer as he says without 'direct levers to pull' Council services are unaccountable
This rather unexpected exchange took place right at the end of the BBC Sunday Politics London segment on 17 November 2013. Mike Freer was sat next to Labour's Meg Hillier MP. The issue at hand were proposals in a recent speech by Michael Gove to question whether all social care provision must be in house he said:
Why must all child protection services be delivered in-house?
Why aren’t there more independent social work practices which local authorities can draw on as they need?
However it is difficult to see that the issues the Mr Freer so powerful put forward are not just as relevant with other key Council services. He said, interviewed by Tim Donovan:
MF: Certainly as a former Leader of the Council, I wanted my social workers reporting to my Officers because the risk is so great that if you want to hold local authorites to account then they need to have the direct levers to pull. So I'm not quite sure...
TD: So you wouldn't go down that route then (Michael Gove's questioning of 100% direct in house provision)
MF: I don't think I would
MH: Well that's heartening to hear a Conservative say that as nor would I, I think it would be crazy you do lose accountability...