The democratic deficit of 'One Barnet'

Barnet council Leader Richard Cornelius yesterday responded to Reema Patel's questions on the legality of the 'decision' to go for a Joint Venture (JV) arrangement for one of the 'One Barnet' contracts instead of a Strategic Partnership.  He said that "Contrary to reports this decision has not been taken. JV remains an option, but no decision as yet. There will need to be a convincing argument for this route."

This is completely contrary to the email sent round to council staff by the Director which said that "We have decided to form a Joint Venture organisation with the successful bidder".

It is also at odds with today's Barnet Press reports that Deputy Leader of the Council, Daniel Thomas is much more bullish about the prospects of a JV than the Leader.  He is quoted saying, "It doesn't surprise me that the first vendor for this service would be a shared organisation." - the intimation being that there is a decision of sorts about JV.

One of the complaints about the 'One Barnet' process is that there is a complete lack of transparency about what decisions are being taken, and who is taking them. Opposition councillors and backbench administration councillors were both sidelined when the Council leadership scrapped the One Barnet Scrutiny Panel dedicated to scrutinising the 'One Barnet' process and any proposals. Local residents have also been shut out of the democratic process, having never been formally consulted on 'One Barnet'.

As Vicki Morris (AKA Citizen Barnet) says in her Guardian Online article today, "How can local democracy thrive when council processes shut out the voices of residents and campaigners?"

This is why we are campaigning for a public referendum on One Barnet, and we are urging everyone who lives, works and studies in Barnet to sign the petition, email their local councillors, download and use the street campaign pack, and share the campaign.

The Deputy Leader of the council has now admitted total outsourcing of services gives the council less control, and they are now seriously considering other options. There are still risks with the 'One Barnet' options under consideration, but this is a partial victory that has come about as a result of the pressure exerted by the collective campaigns against 'One Barnet', including Better Barnet, Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPs), Barnet UNISON, the Famous Five Barnet Bloggers, and countless ordinary members of the public who have got involved.

Together we can beat the democratic deficit of 'One Barnet'.

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Showing 15 reactions


@SavefriernBLib tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-24 15:49:51 +0100
Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/9yvb0k82 via @BetterBarnet
@SavefriernBLib tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-24 15:49:36 +0100
JointVentureGate: Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/J9aalUsu via @BetterBarnet
@MaggiMyland tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-24 06:37:08 +0100
Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/9yvb0k82 via @BetterBarnet
@barnet_unison tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-23 22:56:17 +0100
JointVentureGate: Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/J9aalUsu via @BetterBarnet
@barnet_unison tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-23 22:53:58 +0100
Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/9yvb0k82 via @BetterBarnet
@ mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-08-23 20:41:01 +0100
Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/tcl2rDiX via @BetterBarnet
@BrokenBarnet tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-23 17:47:17 +0100
Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/ZWjexUs1 via @BetterBarnet
@ tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-23 17:09:13 +0100
JointVentureGate: Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/J9aalUsu via @BetterBarnet
@vickim57 tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-23 15:49:16 +0100
Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/ZWjexUs1 via @BetterBarnet
commented 2012-08-23 15:43:14 +0100 · Flag
Dan Thomas also said “a joint venture had always been an option for the officers." So it is the officers who make the decions not councillors? Perhaps the officers should stand for election next time.
@ mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-08-23 15:39:10 +0100
Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/ZWjexUs1 via @BetterBarnet
@ mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-08-23 15:22:59 +0100
Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/9yvb0k82 via @BetterBarnet
@BarnetLabour mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-08-23 15:13:55 +0100
The #OneBarnet democratic deficit: Who is making the decisions on 'One Barnet'? http://t.co/upFLlRtJ via @BetterBarnet
commented 2012-08-23 15:06:33 +0100 · Flag
I was in court once when the defending barrister expressed his suprise about something and the judge said “It depends upon your capacity for suprise”. Perhaps Dan Thomas doesn’t get easily surprised. His statement is a typical one that has lots of words and doesn’t speak about the facts.
published this page in News 2012-08-23 14:53:00 +0100
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