Friday 4 March 2011

Barnet CEO's Weekly broadcast

Members of Barnet Council staff have alerted me to the weekly email they usually receive at the end of the week from Nick Walkley. This week it was sent by consultant Andrew Travers the section 151 Officer and Deputy Chief Executive.

“As Nick is on leave, I am writing the weekly message. His one brief appearance this week was for the meeting of Full Council on Tuesday, which approved next year’s budget.

In stark contrast to other councils which saw violent protests and delays to meetings, Tuesday’s meeting, like Cabinet before it, went ahead at the allotted time and location with the public present throughout.  The people putting together BBC London’s ‘council cuts’ coverage must have been thinking they had chosen the wrong place to send their political editor. Understandably there were some protests but these never got out of hand and the democratic process was able to take place with residents present in the public gallery.

I would like to put on record my thanks to all staff on duty at the Town Hall on the night, especially those in Democratic Services who did a sterling job in ensuring members of the public were able to either watch or listen to proceedings in the chamber or the nearby committee room. Thanks are also due to all those staff across the authority who have been involved with consultations over various parts of the budget over recent months. The very public way in which we have discussed our challenges and asked the public to contribute to the budget setting process has also helped to defuse criticism.”