Are these responses from our local MPs good enough?

Hundreds of people have emailed their local Councillors and MPs in the last week, and we've started getting responses back. But do you think these responses are good enough?

 

From Matthew Offord, MP for Hendon:

Thank you for your email about One Barnet.

As you correctly state the decision on whether to go ahead with this project is one that will be made by the Council’s Cabinet on 6th December.  Where practical such decisions should be executed at the most local level possible - close to the people who are affected by decisions. Consequently it is a decision that will be made by the democratically elected members of the Council – not the trade unions, disaffected individuals or others with a vested interest.

The One Barnet project was started before the last council elections and the Conservative Group were elected on this mandate. I further believe that councils do their job best when they have genuine freedom to respond to what local people want – not when they are told what to do by central government – and I am excited that such innovation has emerged in the area in which I live. In the challenging financial times inherited from the previous Labour Government this freedom is more important than ever, enabling local authorities to deliver better value for taxpayers’ money. This is what I believe Barnet Council is doing.

The proposal has been established on a proper business case evidenced by the agreement of the Council’s own Section 151 Monitoring Officer. Consequently I do not share your concerns.

Yours sincerely,

MATTHEW OFFORD MP

Member of Parliament for Hendon

House of Commons

London SW1A 0AA

 

From Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green:

Thank you for your email. In my view the Council is there to provide the best services it can at the  best cost. I have no ideological hang ups about whether services should be run by in-house teams or outsourced. I do not share the concerns you have raised and in the first instance these should be raised with the Leader of the Council.

If the business case had not been made and the project was the gamble you describe, then the Council's section 151 Officer would have stopped the project. If the project had failed to adhere to the Council’s rules on Governance, then the Monitoring Officer would have stepped in. As neither of the statutory officers have done so then the concerns you have are not shared by those officers who have a legal duty to protect the Council irrespective of what Councillors and the Chief Executive may wish.  I support any actions the Council takes to reduce costs allowing money to be found to be spent on services and keeping down council tax.

Sincerely

Mike Freer

Conservative Member of Parliament for Finchley & Golders Green

 

Unfortunately we have had no response (or seen no response) from Theresa Villiers. Please send if you have one.

 

However lets pose some questions here:

1) I would ask Mr Offord and Mr Freer, where in the Barnet Conservatives 2010 manifesto does it says that 70% of council services will be commissioned out on 10 year contracts worth £1bn?

2) After looking at the level of support and worry that the OneBarnet project has caused, does Mr Offord still think that this is just the views of "trade unions, disaffected individuals or others with a vested interest."?

3) Mr Freer and Mr Offord both say that the business case has been made. But no In house comparator was done and as things stand, because this was not done we will never know if privatisation really does present the best value for money and for the public.  The case was just not properly made.

4) OneBarnet / Futureshape / EasyCouncil is not a product of the economic recession, and to say so is a misleading. Former Council Leader Mike Freer never justified EasyCouncil that way in 2009:

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Showing 15 reactions


commented 2012-12-05 09:11:54 +0000 · Flag
I have a response from Two Villas….but cannot fatham a way to send it to you?
@MaggiMyland tweeted link to this page. 2012-11-15 23:18:09 +0000
@MaggiMyland tweeted link to this page. 2012-11-15 23:14:26 +0000
Are these responses from our local MPs good enough? http://t.co/m6EaO9mk via @BetterBarnet
@barnet_unison tweeted link to this page. 2012-11-15 22:41:29 +0000
@barnet_unison mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-11-15 20:40:22 +0000
Are these responses from our local MPs good enough? http://t.co/m6EaO9mk via @BetterBarnet
@MaggiMyland tweeted link to this page. 2012-11-15 11:17:20 +0000
Are these responses from our local MPs good enough? http://t.co/p2FL9tXz via @BetterBarnet
@MaggiMyland tweeted link to this page. 2012-11-15 11:17:10 +0000
Are these responses from our local MPs good enough? http://t.co/YL0OeW5q via @BetterBarnet Tory MPs ignore resident's concerns - no surprise
@ mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-11-14 19:20:12 +0000
Are these responses from our local MPs good enough? http://t.co/p2FL9tXz via @BetterBarnet
@ tweeted link to this page. 2012-11-14 18:07:13 +0000
Are these responses from our local MPs good enough? http://t.co/YL0OeW5q via @BetterBarnet Tory MPs ignore resident's concerns - no surprise
@ tweeted link to this page. 2012-11-14 17:59:35 +0000
Are these responses from our local MPs good enough? http://t.co/YL0OeW5q via @BetterBarnet Tory MPs ignore resident's concerns - no surprise
@steven1jeffery mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-11-14 15:31:22 +0000
Are these responses from our local MPs good enough? http://t.co/q3CDNJVm via @BetterBarnet. They are not in my view
@LaBloggeuse retweeted @BetterBarnet 2012-11-14 15:24:23 +0000
@vickim57 retweeted @BetterBarnet 2012-11-14 15:24:22 +0000
Better Barnet posted about Are these responses from our local MPs good enough? on Better Barnet's Facebook page 2012-11-14 15:14:44 +0000
Are these responses from our local MPs good enough?
@BetterBarnet tweeted this page. 2012-11-14 15:14:44 +0000
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