Thursday 24 February 2011

Letter from Tory minister regarding access to public meetings

Bob Neil MP has laid down clear rules on access etc for public meetings. Print this off and give it to anyone who tries to stop you filming/recording them. Click on the images for a more readable version

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Job Vacency at Barnet Council - £140,000 per annum

Job Details
Director for Planning, Environment and Regeneration

  • Location: Barnet, North London
  • Contract type: Permanent
  • Salary: £140,000 per annum
  • Date posted: 18 February 2011
  • Recruiter: London Borough of Barnet
This is an opportunity for regeneration professionals with extensive project management experience to be at the forefront of redevelopment in the London Borough of Barnet.

Why join us?
It is a really exciting time to be working for the London Borough of Barnet. We’ve always prided ourselves on actually realising the grand plans that we speak about. The major regeneration and redevelopment happening here right now is testament to this.

There are numerous large-scale projects in the pipeline, with the £4.5bn Brent Cross project making headlines with its big long-term plans for the neglected suburb. Our plans are ambitious and to ensure that they’re delivered to the highest standards, our forward-thinking Senior Management Team is looking to partner with the private sector.

These impressive projects will give you the opportunity to gain extensive experience in regeneration on a grand scale. You will be influencing and leading a high-profile agenda and can expect your career to take off in this innovative, motivating environment.

The role
You will be responsible for driving every aspect of the Borough’s regeneration strategy and meeting our challenging objectives. This is a wide-reaching role, with the core aims being protecting and enhancing the physical environment in order to improve people’s lives. The remit of the position includes community safety, waste management, highways and economic development.

Your role will be largely focused on providing the strategic leadership for the redevelopment agenda which will depend heavily on your success in partnering with the private sector. We are expecting you to radically transform the way in which services are provided through the creation of integrated, new delivery models that drive through key services.

The requirements
The scope of this role demands a leader with an unrivalled level of experience in regeneration and redevelopment. Your senior management background will have equipped you with the ability to think and work strategically. You will also have strong skills in negotiating and influencing on complex projects.

Vital to your success will be an ability to build broad networks and partnerships across the public, private and voluntary sectors, ensuring that we deliver every project to both high standards and best value. Commercial acumen and the ability to develop commercial opportunities is therefore key.

For an informal conversation about the role, please call Marek Dobrowolski on 07767 615 512.

Monday 21 February 2011

New Jewish School for Mill Hill - Latest - Letter from Barnet Council CEO

 I have been forwarded the following exchange of emails between a local resident and Nick Walkley, CEO of Barnet Council on the subject of the proposed new Jewish School in Mill Hill

The local resident asked me to redact their details.
To: ************
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 4:49 PM
Subject: RE: Cabinet Resources Committee

** ******

Thankyou for your correspondence.

I note your concerns which will be responded to more fully this week.

However I thought it would be useful that I inform you that, following consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member, I have agreed that this report be withdrawn as the matters relating to the land transactions and the Council’s interest therein need further work. Whilst these could have been reported in a supplemental report to the Committee tonight, given that the next Cabinet Resources Committee is on March 2nd it seems rather more transparent to present the revised information to that Committee following the appropriate publication timescales.

I trust this is helpful

Nick Walkley

Nick Walkley
Chief Executive
London Borough of Barnet, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP
Tel: 020 8359 7001
Barnet Online:

From: *************************
Sent: 19 February 2011 15:01
To: Walkley, Nick
Subject: Cabinet Resources Committee

Dear Mr Walkley

I was extremely concerned to read the following passage in the report to the Cabinet Resources Committee:

9.5 The lease was later assigned to Wyevale Garden Centre, who are now seeking to assign their interest to Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School Trust. Consent by the Council to the assignment will be carried out under delegated powers, and the Council have limited grounds to object.

To say that the council has limited grounds to object is simply not true.

The original lease was granted with a restriction on use as a garden centre. If Wyevale want to assign to another garden centre, then the council would indeed have limited grounds to object. But to assign to a different user is a completely different matter as restrictive covenants will need to be removed. Inexplicably, the report states there are no legal issues relating to this matter. Perhaps the officer who prepared the report is unfamiliar with the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 which governs this lease?

After the Underhill debacle, the council gave an undertaking not to conduct potentially controversial property transactions using delegated powers, but once again it is proposing to do precisely that.

The Cabinet needs to be given accurate information, namely that the council can object to the proposed assignment if it wants to. If the council genuinely believes in transparency and public accountability, the Cabinet must be told that they do not have to rubber stamp any application by the school.

Given that this is likely to be a highly controversial matter, it should go through the normal planning process so that the public can make representations and that the decision is ultimately taken by elected councillors rather than unelected and unaccountable officers.

If the Cabinet is not given the correct information at their meeting on Monday, I reserve my right to make a formal complaint as to an abuse of process.

Yours sincerely

***** ******

Friday 18 February 2011

Barnet Council Cabinet report on new Jewish School at Wyvale Nursury in Daws Lane

Many people have been asking me for information on the new Jewish School in Mill Hill. The full details can be found on this link at the Barnet Council Website -

I have reproduced it in it's entirety here.

AGENDA ITEM: 5 Pages 1 - 7


Cabinet Resources Committee

Date : 21 February 2011

Subject : Wyevale Garden Centre, Daws Lane, Mill Hill NW7

Report of Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance

Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member
for Education, Children and Families


To note:

1) The assignment of the lease from Wyevale Garden Centre to
Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School Trust.

2) The temporary letting of vacant space at adjoining Council
owned building known as the former civil defence building,
during the refurbishment period

To approve the:

1) Deed of variation being granted on receipt of planning
permission for the amendment of the user clause from a
Garden Centre to a school/provision of education services and
services ancilliary to the same, and other amendments to the
lease to provide appropriate terms for a school use.

2) Delivery of a one-form entry Primary Free School to be known
as Etz Chaim utilising Barnet’s existing Strategic Partnering
Agreement with Kier London Limited on behalf of Partnerships
for Schools, the Department for Education’s delivery agency on
school building programmes.

Officer Contributors

Judith Ellis – Valuation Manager (Property Services)

James Wills-Fleming – Corporate Programmes Manager
(Commercial Services)

Status (public or exempt)

Public (with a separate exempt report)

Wards affected

Mill Hill



For decision by Cabinet Resources Committee

Function of Executive
Reason for urgency / exemption from call-in (if appropriate) Not applicable

Contact for further information: Judith Ellis, Property Services, 0208 359 7364,


1.1 That a deed of variation for the change of use and additional variations to the
lease detailed in the accompanying exempt report be granted, subject to the grant
of planning permission and/or completion of the assignment of the lease from
Wyeval to Etz Chaim. This recommendation includes the Council entering into a
binding agreement with Etz Chaim to grant the requisite variations.

1.2 That the construction works required to provide a one-form entry Primary Free
School to be known as Etz Chaim be delivered by utilising the Council’s existing
Strategic Partnering Agreement with Kier London Limited on behalf of
Partnerships for Schools, the Department for Education’s delivery agency on
school building programmes.


2.1 Cabinet, 5 December 2005 (Decision item 6) – approved the Building a future for
Barnet’s Children: the Primary School Capital Investment Strategy.

2.2 Cabinet, 3 April 2008 (Decision item 13 and 17) – approved the selection of Kier London
Limited as the Council’s strategic construction partner.

2.3 Cabinet Resources Committee, 5 March 2009 (Decision item 12) – approved the re-build
of Colindale Primary School and the addition of the project to the Strategic Partnership
Agreement with Kier London Limited.

2.4  On 12 April 2010, the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Resources
approved under delegated powers (DPR 1057) the acceptance of a tender contract sum
from Kier London Limited for works at Childs Hill Primary School.


3.1 Ensuring every school is a good school for every child is a priority in the Barnet Children
and Young People Plan 2010-2013 and supports the corporate priority of ‘a successful
London suburb’. Approving the assignment of the lease and change of use to Etz Chaim
will help to increase parental choice of school in Barnet. It will also contribute towards
ensuring there are sufficient school places in the local area, which is a statutory duty of
the local authority under section 14 of the Education Act 1996. Supporting those who
wish to set up free schools also contributes towards the Council’s priority of ‘sharing
opportunities and sharing responsibilities’.


4.1 If the Council does not agree this proposal the school will be unable to pursue the
provision of a free school in this location, as the Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School Trust
require exchange of contracts being subject to confirmation that the subsequent deed of
variation will be issued by the council at the appropriate time. This requirement avoids
significant investment by PfS into a project that may not reach fruition.

4.2 A project risk register is maintained by the Corporate Programmes Team and there are
no risks which are considered to be significant.

4.3 To ensure accurate costs the project budget has been rigorously reviewed by the project
team including the project’s technical advisors, Gardiner & Theobald LLP (G&T). The
project team will monitor all aspects of the build to ensure continued assessment of the
finances from construction start to completion.

4.4 The Council has a Strategic Partnering Agreement (SPA) with Kier London Limited. The
SPA has successfully delivered or is in the process of delivering multiple school projects
including: Whitings Hill, Broadfields, Northway/Fairway, Colindale and Childs Hill

 4.5 Depending on how the transaction is structured there may be a risk of judicial review of
the planning permission resulting in delay and/or the school not being constructed.


5.1 While conducting this project officers have complied with the Council’s statutory duties
promote equality of opportunity; eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment; and promote good relations between people.

5.2 Schedule 8 of the SPA outlines Kier’s Race Equality Requirements and states that Kier,
including agent’s/contractors working on behalf of Kier, will comply with race relations
legislation, shall not discriminate and will promote equality in performing its obligations
under this agreement. 

6. USE OF RESOURCES IMPLICATIONS (Finance, Procurement, Performance &
Value for Money, Staffing, IT, Property, Sustainability)

6.1 The SPA with Kier was the result of a rigorous procurement process and was structured
to enable the addition of further building projects such as this and still ensure value for

6.2 The SPA, with Kier London Limited, relates to the carrying out of works in designated
primary schools across the Borough. However, the SPA allows for additional projects to be
included to give the Council full flexibility and control over the programme. Therefore,
authority for this variation, including a waiver of the Contract Procedure Rules (to go out to
tender), already exists.

6.3 The total construction cost including internal project and programme management
resource and external technical and legal advisors will be funded by the Department for

6.4 Funding will be delivered to the Council through Standards Fund to an agreed payment
schedule that is aligned to the payment schedule agreed with Kier London Ltd.

6.5 The deed of variation is proposed on completion of the assignment which is subject to
planning permission being granted. This will ensure that the variation is only granted to
the school and does not benefit the existing lessee.

6.6 Future assignment provisions (to be one of the variations of the lease) may be more in
accordance with what you would expect to find in a new academy lease but this will need
consideration as to the detail restrictions.

6.7 If the school fails and the lease reverts to the Government, it is thought the asset will
return to the Borough. However the relevant statutory provisions need consideration
before this can be confirmed.

6.8 Other variations in the lease include: Amendment to the hours of use, playing of music,
Floodlighting, Assignment to a corporate body, or charity with the minister’s consent,
subletting to organisations providing uses consistent with that of a school.

6.9 These variations are acceptable in principle m and subject to planning and any other
consents necessary, and make the lease more consistent with an Academies lease.
Detailed negotiations on the proposed amendments will be concluded and reported
under delegated powers.

6.10 It is anticipated that the school will open in September 2011, and the school have
committed to parents and staff that this will happen. As a result should the conversion
works not be completed in time will require temporary accommodation and have
identified the adjoining building known as the former Civil Defence Building as being a
suitable building.

6.11 The ground floor is currently empty following the relocation of the Drug and Alcohol
project and the archive store, and totals approximately 4000 sq ft (400 sq m). The first
floor is occupied by the Sea Cadets who are holding over under a lease.

6.12 The future of the building is currently under consideration, with legal and planning
investigation being undertaken. It is not considered that a short-term letting of the
property is likely to impinge on the Council’s plans.

6.13 The short term agreement would in addition provide an opportunity to consider the future
of the site and/or prepare for a subsequent letting while the school are in occupation.

6.14 Agreement to the detailed terms of the lease will be reported under delegated powers.

6.15 The adjoining car park, is in Council ownership, and consideration is currently being
given to introducing charging. The lease to Wyevale Garden Centre affords rights to the
lessee for pedestrian access, and to maintain the area as public car parking. These
rights may be altered in the event of the Council granting a change of use.

6.16 In addition, the Council may redevelop the car park, but may be required to provide
alternative parking in the vicinity.


7.1 None except as mentioned in the exempt and public report.


The Council’s Constitution in Part 3, Responsibility for Functions, states in paragraph 3.6
the functions delegated to the Cabinet Resources Committee including all matters
relating to land and buildings owned, rented or proposed to be acquired or disposed of
by the Council.


9.1 On 6 September 2010, Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education announced
that Mill Hill Jewish Primary School (now known as Etz Chaim) was among the first 16
free schools nationally to be granted permission to progress their application to open a
free school in September 2011.

9.2 Free Schools are all-ability, state-funded schools, set up in response to parental
demand. These new schools will be academies, which are publicly funded independent
schools, free from local authority control. They will enjoy the same freedoms as
traditional academies, which include setting their own pay and conditions for staff,
freedom from following the National Curriculum and the ability to change the lengths of
their terms and school days. All Free Schools will be accountable like other state
schools via inspections and tests.

9.3 Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School Trust investigated various locations within the
Borough and found Wyevale Garden Centre in Daws Lane provided the right size and
location for their proposed School and pursued negotiations to secure ownership of the
lease with 102 years unexpired term.

9.4 The Council owns the freehold reversion in the land and buildings shown outlined in
black on the attached plan, which until closed in 1982 was a former swimming pool. The
land was disposed of on a 125 year lease in 1988 to Country Gardens PLC with a
restriction on use to a garden centre. The lease was granted for payment of a premium
at a peppercorn rent throughout the term, and now has 102 years unexpired.

9.5 The lease was later assigned to Wyevale Garden Centre, who are now seeking to assign
their interest to Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School Trust. Consent by the Council to the
assignment will be carried out under delegated powers, and the Council have limited
grounds to object.

9.6 Negotiations have taken place between Wyevale and the Etz Chaim Jewish Primary
School Trust, in conjunction with PfS who are funding the acquisition and conversion
works, and Heads of Terms have now been agreed.

9.7 In order for the building to be used as a school, planning permission for change of use
and for alterations is required, and it is anticipated that the planning application this will
be submitted by the beginning of March, and completion of the assignment will be
subject to planning permission being granted.

9.8 PfS are anxious to be in a contractual position with the Garden Centre to ensure that if
they achieve planning consent the transaction will complete and enable them to carry out
the required works and open the school in September, although it is accepted that
temporary accommodation may be required for a short period of time. Failure to achieve
a binding agreement leaves Wyevale free to negotiate with an alternative purchaser.

9.9 In order for exchange of contracts to occur, PfS require comfort from the council as
freeholders that a deed of variation will be issued for change of use, together with
various alterations to the lease terms to provide a lease agreement that is more in
keeping with appropriate for school/ educational use. This will not be issued until
planning permission is granted and the assignment has completed, which is anticipated
to take a minimum of 3 months to achieve.

9.10 Details of the financial implications are set out in the accompanying exempt report.

9.11 In addition Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School Trust have requested a 1 year lease from
May 2011 of the vacant accommodation in the adjoining Council-owned building
premises at the former Civil Defence Building. This was until recently used by the Drug
and Alcohol Project, and the archive store. The first floor is occupied by the Sea Cadets.
Terms have been discussed and are detailed in the accompanying exempt report.


10.1 None.

Legal – JO’H

© Crown Copyright. All rights reserved. London Borough of Barnet. OS Licence No
LA100017674 2011.

For identification and illustrative purposes only.

Thursday 17 February 2011

Barnet Council tenants and care workers exposed to Legionella Disease risk

Email sent to Barnet Care workers and residents of nursing homes. FYI - These properties are part of the group outsourced to Catalyst which have resulted in an £8 million loss to Barnet Council following the outsourcing and subsequent court case (please click on Image for more readable format). It seems rather odd that the letter states that there is no significant risk to staff or residents, whilst at the same time saying tests are being carried out. Normally sites are declared safe only after tests have proven the problem has been eradicated.

Sunday 13 February 2011

Barnet Council deluged with questions for Budget Committee meeting

----- Original Message -----
To : Roger Tichborne
Sent: Friday, February 11, 2011 2:44 PM
Subject: Your question for the Leader at Cabinet

Dear Mr Tichborne

I am writing in connection with the question(s) you have submitted to be asked of the Leader at the Cabinet Meeting on 14 February 2011. The meeting takes place at Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, Hendon, NW4 4BG and commences at 7.00pm.

The Council’s Constitution provides that

Questions will be dealt with strictly in order of receipt, but a second question submitted by an individual (other than a supplementary question…) will not be dealt with until all first questions submitted from members of the public have been dealt with. Similarly a third question from an individual will not be dealt with until all “second questions” have been dealt with and so on.

The time allowed for questions to the Leader, appropriate Cabinet Member or Chairman shall be limited to 30 minutes or a maximum of 20 questions, whichever occurs first.

The Leader, appropriate Cabinet Member or Chairman shall reply in writing to any questions not dealt with at the meeting within 14 working days from the date of the meeting.

The questioner may ask one supplementary question to the original question. These do not count towards the limit of 20 questions.

Because of the unprecedented number of questions received for this meeting these requirements must come into effect.

Your question was one of the first 20 received and will be answered at the meeting by the Leader provided the 30 minute allowance is not exceeded.

A schedule of all of the questions received and the Leader’s replies will be circulated at the meeting and published on the Council’s website on Monday.

When entering the Committee Room, please identify yourself to a member of the Democratic Services staff who will direct you to your seat. When your question is reached, you will be asked to come to the table. The Leader will not be reading out the question, or her answer, but because of the time constraint will proceed to ask you for any supplemental question you may wish to ask.

Questioners are asked to note that supplemental questions should be phrased as questions rather than as statements or responses. They must relate to the main written question, and in the interests of fairness to the following questioners should be succinct and to the point.

Yours sincerely
Nick Musgrove
Senior Democratic Services Officer, Corporate Governance Directorate
London Borough of Barnet, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP
Tel: 020 8359 2024
Barnet Online:

The information in this e-mail is confidential and may also be the subject of legal privilege. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient please reply to the sender. You are hereby placed on notice that any copying, publication or any other form of dissemination of this e-mail or its contents is prohibited.

Whilst every endeavour is taken to ensure that e-mails are free from
viruses, no liability can be accepted and the recipient is requested
to use their own virus checking software.

Monday 7 February 2011

Brian Coleman is horrified that Parking permits are less than £2 a week

From: "Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative"
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 16:18:34 -0000
To: Conservative Cllrs
Cc: Robeson, Richard; Rachel Shawcross
Subject: FW: POLITICAL email

I suspect some colleagues have been getting e mails from residents about the abolition of free spaces and the rises in parking charges . There is an orgnaised campaign in Hampstead Garden Suburb and in Golders Green .

The following brief may therefore be helpful

As you know both these issues were discussed at length at Group and at the various budget meetings

On Free Bays

They are a nonsense and do not exist in other Boroughs. I have not seen one logical argument in favour of free bays. If you live in a CPZ you have the advantages and also the consequences. Some residents apparently think they can just use free bays and not purchase visitor permits or even residents permits. They do not help shopkeepers as someone (commuters for example ) can park from morning till night for nothing. I suspect many residents will welcome the Additional residents bays that will now be available

As for the cost of residents permits and the general increase in charges there is a piece on the front page of yesterdays Sunday Times which outlines the huge rises in fees and charges across local Government in England ( It does not mention Barnet) . This is an opportunity to sort out the Special Parking Account once and for all , I was frankly horrified at the state of it when I took over in May and at £100 our permits are less than £2 a week and will still be cheaper than Westminster , Camden , Hammersmith and Bexley to my knowledge . The Sunday Times lists various changes to parking being proposed Kensington and Chelsea restrictions till 10pm , Enfield charging to park on a Sunday etc etc

The only way we are going to be able to spend any money on Highways or pavement repairs ( and the next set of potholes are just beginning to appear) is to use any surplus from the parking fund .

There are about 10,000 residents Permits in circulation in Barnet roughly 7,000 of our approx 200,000 households .

As colleagues will know Group rejected other Officer proposals such as Camera monitoring of parking and yellow box enforcement and increased hours for the A5 Bus Lane . the increase in charges forms part of the Budget proposals and is therefore of course subject to the Group Whip .

I do not imagine these proposals are going to be politically popular but we  are going to have to face far more flack than this in the next couple of months !!

Happy New Year !!

From: Harper, Cllr Andrew Conservative
Sent: 09 January 2011 10:02
To: Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative
Cc: Marshall, Cllr John Conservative; Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative; Hillan, Cllr Lynne Conservative; Rams, Cllr Robert Conservative
Subject: POLITICAL email


As you'll have seen, there are a number of similar messages on this subject, and I'm getting other postbag on it too, coming on top of the fuss about free bay removal.

What's the line on the dramatic increases in permit charges? Is it that we need the money to fund highway maintenance costs?

The CRC report is no help at all, merely stating these are "new charges following revision of permit structure and costs".

Cllr Andrew Harper

Garden Suburb Ward
Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families
London Borough of Barnet

From: R***** S****
To: ; Democratic, Services; First Contact
Cc: Harper, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Marshall, Cllr John Conservative; Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative; Hillan, Cllr Lynne Conservative; Rams, Cllr Robert Conservative; Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative
Sent: Sat Jan 08 19:35:38 2011
Subject: CPZ Parking Charges
Dear Sirs,

I am writing to object to the totally unreasonable level of increase proposed for the parking permits for the Barnet CPZ, the proposed abolition of the free parking bays and the seemingly underhand method of slipping these increases through without public consultation.

With inflation running at less than 5%, salaries increasing at less than this (if at all) I am amazed that councillors feel that this level of increase to parking permits is anything other than outrageous. Like most people we need our cars for work purposes and they are not something that can just be ditched to avoid parking permit costs. The council needs to learn to live within their income and cut their cloth to match this, not to covertly increase residents' costs at a time of austerity.

The proposed increases to Parking Pay and Display Fees and Charges are similarly outrageous and will simply result in local businesses struggling to attract custom as their customers baulk at paying more to park. With centres such as Brent Cross offering free parking why are councillors intent on making life as hard as possible for local Centres?

The proposed abolition of the free bays is disgraceful as we were sold the CPZ on the basis that these bays would exist. They are very useful for relatives, friends and tradesmen and, if removed, will simply mean tradesmen having to charge more for their services to pay for these extra charges.

I hope that Councillors remember that ridiculous increases such as this will be remembered by voters at the next elections.

Yours sincerely,

****** **** **** ******

Friday 4 February 2011

Hillan begs Eric Pickles to save her from her own financial ineptitude

Please click on image for more readable version