THe Secretary of State for Communities has just issued the decision letter below confirming the compulsory purchase orders for Barnet Council's West Hendon regeneration scheme. Our video footage from the public inquiry is here
The Barnet Labour Party has issued the following statement
Cllr Alison Moore announced today that, following her selection as a London Assembly List candidate, she will be stepping down next month after ten years as Leader of Barnet Labour Group and the Opposition on Barnet Council.
Cllr Moore said “It has been an honour and a privilege to lead the Barnet Labour Group over the past ten years and to nurture what has become a confident and able set of councillors. I’m proud to have led a Group that has fought resolutely on the side of our residents in the face of unfair Tory policies and cuts to services locally and nationally - listening to and defending local people on parking, libraries, children’s centres, housing and more.
The thirty strong Labour Group is now the largest in the history of Barnet and represents wards and communities right across the borough. In 2014 Labour, through our campaign for a “Better Barnet”, came within little more than a hundred votes of taking outright control of Barnet Council and needs to win just two more seats to do so in 2018. I will be leaving that task in the hands of a fantastic Labour team.
“I will remain Leader until the Labour Group select my successor on December 3rd and I will then step up to the exciting challenge of fighting as a London wide Candidate in the London Assembly Elections next May. I have learnt so much over the past ten years as Leader of the Labour Group in Barnet and hope that I can bring my experience of the largest outer London Borough and energy as a campaigning councillor to help elect a Labour Mayor and Assembly to serve the whole of London.
Figures from London Datastore
The purple line is 'other'
If anyone has Camden 2015 borough wide adjusted figures (the parliamentary constituencies don't map onto the borough as Barnet's do) please get in touch...
Following yesterday's Conservative GLA selection meeting the two main parties now have their teams in place for Barnet and Camden: Zack Goldsmith v Sadiq Khan and Dan Thomas v Andrew Dismore.
The Bugle is wagering that the GLA contest could be incredibly dull. The consensus at Bugle Towers Thomas and Dismore will do all their campaigning via targetted literature. Will we ever even see them debate or clash before May 5th? ...we suspect not...
Deputy Party Chairman, Robert Halfon MP backs Dean Cohen
Will backing from Party big beasts affect Sunday's selection meeting?
Update 11 October: Dan Thomas issues final rallying leaflet too
On Sunday Conservative Party members from across Barnet and Camden will gather in Hendon to select their candidate for the London Assembly for next year. The shortlisted four candidates - Tim Barnes, Dean Cohen. Antonia Cox and Dan Thomas are now three after Antonia Cox pulled out late last week. The candidates set out their stalls a few weeks ago but few are sure of the outcome given uncertain over who will turnout for the meeting on Sunday and varying levels of interest in different parts of this large geographical area.
The outwardly looking sedate competition between the three remaining gentleman was blown apart on Friday after Barnet Councillor Dean Cohen circulated a leaflet to some of his supporters which the Bugle has had sight of.
Dean Cohen has placed strong support for Zac Goldsmith's housing policies, especially opposition to tall buildings at the heart of his campaign. From Robert Halfon's quote this seems to be an important part of his endorsement. Councillor Dan Thomas is conflicted over the issue due to his position as Chairman of the Barnet Council Committee responsibie for regenerating housing estates which include some very tall blocks, notably up to 26 storeys at West Hendon (to which even Labour's Andrew Dismore has taken a position against).
So will these big endorsements swing votes at this stage of the race? Certainly seems things are hotting up and Sunday's meeting could well be a more fierier meeting than it looked a day or so.
UPDATE 11 October AM. The Bugle has now also seen a final email sent from Dan Thomas. Although containing no formal direct endorsements, it contains warm and positive statements but not quite putting their necks out saying he would be the best or their only choice.
MPs Mike Freer and Theresa Villiers with Councillor Richard Cornelius all speak of Councillor Thomas' dedication and enthusiasm and Chairman of Chipping Barnet and Hendon Conservatives speaking respectively of his effectiveness and team player skills. It ends with two comments from local Finchley Conservatives, one his Ward Colleague.
A friend of Dan Thomas taking a swipe at Zac Goldsmith's and Robert Halfon's endorsements of Dean Cohen told the Bugle,
These figures are usually quite happy to offer bland unspecific endorsements to people they barely know. All of Dan's endorsements are local people who know him well and who've seen him in action
The candidate will be chosen at a meeting of party members on October 11th in North London.