NEXT COUNCIL MEETING TO ATTEND
AUDIT COMMITTEE 24 JULY 2013 7 pm
Following Cllr Coleman’s allegations in the 16 July Full Council meeting that Conservative councillors were whipped into voting for One Barnet Programme, some residents have submitted questions to the Audit committee, in which the external auditors will present a report.
Some BAPS members will skip the weekly activists’ meeting to go to the Town Hall; join them in the public gallery to show that we care whether our councillors represent us by their votes or their party line.
On Monday 24 June Hendon Town Hall saw again a public gallery full of residents for the Cabinet meeting, all attending in order to witness how our Cabinet members decide with a nod on the future of Barnet, most making a last minute’s effort to inject some sense into the councillors’ brains and some logic into their decision making.
Here are the speeches (‘Residents’ Comments’ in the council’s jargon) made by some of us. You will notice a common theme of mistrust, cynicism and frustration in all those speeches - but we assure you there was no prior liaison between the residents speaking and each wrote his or her speech in independently from the others. Interesting to note that we all got at the same time to realisation that no amount of evidence and logical arguments about the folly of One Barnet Programme of Privatisation and the award of the second big contract - Development & Regulatory Services - to Capita, will convince the councillors to stop and think.
And indeed this was a frustrating meeting!
Following this was the Cabinet Resource Committee meeting, as frustrating if you consider that we sat there watching the members of this committee approving - again with a nod and without any dissent - completely disregarding any of our concerns, a renewal of the contract with Fremantle Trust to provide elderly care homes in Barnet, and that’s despite the fact that Fremantle is subject to prosecution by Barnet’s Environmental Health department following a death of a resident in Dellfield Court, Finchley. (The case will be heard in front of the Willesden Magistrate Court on Tuesday 9th July, and is open to the public).
Public questions were asked about this and about other issues. See here some of them.
It’s important to commend Cllr Kate Salinger’s for her excellent speech that she gave on behalf of the Safeguarding Overview & Scrutiny Committee, passionately imploring the CRC members to give assurances that measures were put in place to prevent such tragedies, and challenging the intention to renew the contract with Fremantle; Cllr Salinger echoed a lot of the residents’ concerns which were brought up in Public Questions prior to her speech.
Next meeting to attend:
Thursday 2nd May, 7.00 pm: Business Management Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Hendon Town Hall
View link for agenda. Questions to be submitted by 10 am Tuesday 30 April
Two important past meetings:
Wednesday 10 April 7 PM Hendon Town Hall - Constitution, Ethics and Probity Committee VICTORY! Read the report on what we achieved.
(see HERE why it is important to challenge its agenda) which among many other things is seeking to implement this:
“5.3 Public questions are not permitted at Overview and Scrutiny Committees when they are considering call-ins or undertaking pre-decision scrutiny of executive decisions.” (APPENDIX M Section 4 – Public Participation and Engagement)“
The committee meeting 28 March had many residents questions and comments, thus did not get to voting on this undemocratic proposed change to the constitution. See Mr Reasonable report. Against the proposed amendment, the Labour Group suggests the following amendments:
3.01 (d) To read … Citizens have the right to ask questions, receive answers and make comments at committee meetings..
10.02 (a) ToR 1st sentence to read Residents Forums provide an opportunity for any resident to raise any matter pertaining to the Council and its partner organisations.
Delete six month rule
Delete list of public works.
Retain ‘Matters must not relate to Planning or Licensing issues.’
12.03 Function of Monitoring Officer: new (g): Ensuring citizens rights under Article 3.01
12.2 Full stop after Council - deleting (i.e….’to delete all words after Council and replace with’)
13 Add new 13.2 Amendments to items on the agenda will be e mailed to members and hard copies placed in the Group Rooms by midday of the day of the meeting’
renumber current 13.2 to 13.3
32.1 Change 21 days to 10
5.1 Remove 1st bullet point.
Appendix Q - Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules: There is a typo at Rule 20. which refers to Rule 19.2 - it should actually refer to Rule 18.2 - there isn’t a Rule 19.2.
Officers Code of Conduct Section 17 - Use of Social Media - amend to ensure workers acting in their union capacity have the right to use of social media to post opinions, write blogs tweet (or equivalent) and that it does not have to be on an authorised Barnet site or account.
See agenda here.
Tuesday 16 April, 7 PM Hendon Town Hall - Full Council meeting.
Cllr Barry Rawlings’ motion to Bring Your Choice Barnet back in-house will be debated.
Join us in the public gallery to support this excellent motion. Meeting 6:30 for 7 start.
Monday 8 April - Audit Committee, see preview here.
Join us in the public gallery at Council meetings and ask public questions about the One Barnet programme.
Keep checking for the next scheduled trip or email [email protected] for details.
Details and documentation for Barnet Council meetings which might be of interest to residents and campaigners are available through the Council and democracy pages.
It is often possible for the public to ask questions at these meetings; please email the relevant contact person within the council for details of how to do this. If you need further advice, please email barnetallianc[email protected].
See how to ask public questions in council meetings and council-run residents forums and how to formulate them.