Thursday, 25 March 2010

Coleman's Window Dressing Dressing Down

I don't know. You turn your back for a week and there's even more reasons why Mr Toad must go - like his appalling behaviour at the LFEPA meeting and the further evidence of his tirades at members of staff. What's more, there's a happy case of him actually going - sacked as chair of the National Joint Council for Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services. There's even a helpful suggestion for a method of exit for him :-).

In this post though, I'm going to focus on the public spat going on between Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman and David Howard - the chairman of the Federation of Residents' Associations in Barnet (FORAB).

I recently reported just how badly the residents of New Barnet and East Barnet were being served by Brian Coleman and the Conservatives, not least over the terrible loss of power that so many households suffered over the bitingly cold Christmas and new year period.

David Howard gave evidence at the first meeting, chaired by Coleman, intended supposedly to scrutinise the events and hold those responsible to account.

This is the damning verdict he gave to the
Barnet Times: “It was window dressing with an election in mind. It was a good opportunity to blame somebody else and be seen to be doing something when most of the problems are resolved."

Mr Toad hit back, accusing Mr Howard of having: "a political agenda" - rather than by defending his own (in)actions mark you. This, as one of the commenters on the Barnet Times website pointed out: "is despicable. The usual bull-headed, pig-ignorant Colemanballs. No doubt he'll accuse Mr Howard of being anti-Semitic or homophobic in a moment, his usual stock playground response to criticism of him."

I see that David Howard has (nobly) resisted the temptation to attack Coleman personally, and defended his actions on behalf of the community and his political neutrality in today's Barnet Times (Letters, page 18).

What he details is the uttter shambles over which Coleman has presided, with, it would seem, the sole intention of gaining political capital - and all the while showing utter contempt for his long-suffering constituents, the people of New and East Barnet:

Its time to do something useful, and wanted by the community for once Coleman - GO!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Cabbies euphoric over Coleman news

The news that Brian Coleman must relinquish Barnet's mayoral limousine was greeted with unprecedented scenes of wild jubilation amongst London's cab-driving community. Ecstatic cabbies hugged one another and danced in the streets outside City Hall, as they confidently anticipated another bumper payday.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

What have Brian Coleman's Conservatives got against the people of East Barnet ward?

Yesterday I reported on Coleman's reluctance to bring himself to the people of East Barnet for the committee which was supposed to be scrutinising their terrible loss of power over the Christmas and new year period, as the temperatures plummeted.

But it now turns out that's just the tip of his inaccessibility.
Comments left on this blog by New Barnet blogger: Mr Reasonable desribe how Coleman
"will only take written evidence. Two public representatives have been chosen and that's it. He will also hear from ward councillors, council officers and the utilities. No public debate. So there you have it. Hold the meeting miles away from where the problem was, eliminate public debate and accept what they tell you. Not my idea of democracy."

Quite. A far cry then, from what Coleman said to the Barnet Times:
"I want to hear from as many residents as possible so we are fully equipped to speak with authority on lessons that need to be learned for the future."

What's more, it turns out that this committee was held at the very same time as the council's demonstration - right over on the other side of the borough - of the planning options it is considering to replace the local town centre with soulless, high rise concrete and traffic pollution revitalise the local economy.

So the good people of East Barnet had to choose whether to have their voice heard on the power outtages they suffered, or to see the (frankly dreadful) schemes of Barnet council that are certain to affect them in a big way. Coleman's choice.

Barnet is 'represented' at the London level by Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman. At the Barnet coucil level, East Barnet ward which comprises New Barnet and East Barnet has three councillors. All of them are Conservative cronies of Coleman. Not one of them, it seems, lives in the ward they are so happy to concrete over. Indeed, they've already started. No wonder a Save New Barnet campaign has sprung up in self-defence.

So, what have Brian Coleman's Conservatives got against the people of East Barnet ward? I do not know. But one thing I do know: - If East Barnet ward votes for more of the same, in the elections on May 6th, they will surely get it.

If you're not registered to vote yet, you can register here.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Coleman's cold comfort

Do you remember those poor souls in East Barnet who had the most miserable Christmas, without power, and in Arctic conditions?

Well, hopes were raised recently when it was announced that Barnet council is setting up a scrutiny committee to make sure someone else takes the blame bring the culprits to account!

Then hopes were swiftly dashed, when it was reported that the committee will be chaired by Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman. Speaking to the
Barnet Times, Mr Toad said:
"I want to hear from as many residents as possible so we are fully equipped to speak with authority on lessons that need to be learned for the future."

However, the excellent Vickim57 blog reports that Mr Toad:
"has snubbed calls to hold the meeting in or close to East Barnet, meaning many of the vulnerable people who were left high and dry by the communication breakdown will again be denied the chance to have their say."

The fool.

Residents who are able to make it to the meeting will be able to give their evidence to Mr Toad's committee, right over on the other side of the borough, at Hendon Town Hall, the Burroughs, NW4 4BG at 7pm on Thursday 4 March. Official papers available here.