Thursday, 6 December 2012

[Reposted] Report on Barnet Residents Forum, Coppetts Wood Primary School, 23 June 2011

Since there has been lots of political activity on this web site recently, concerning the boroughs of Haringey and Enfield, let us remind ourselves about what goes on (or doesn't) in the Blessed Borough of Barnet...

"Thursday 23rd June saw the first production of a new show, which its sponsors hope will be the first of a very short run. (Seeing as how the performance started at 6.01pm, and finished at 6.52pm, their wishes may come to fruition.)

"There were two councillors (David Longstaff and Pauline Coakley Webb) and two of Council Leader Richard Cornelius’s 'usual suspects', one of whom stomped out at the interval, because he did not understand:
  • the script, 
  • modern language, or 
  • the sublimable message that was not so subtly being sent out by the Key Characters.
"Although Cllr David Longstaff is an actor, he was restricted to a walk-on part at the end, and the Lead was taken by Cllr Barry Evangeli, who many will remember as the person who advertised magnum ice cream, and said they were priced so that even a councillor could afford them from their increased allowances.

"The show opened with a show-stopping performance from the compere, who r e a d o u t v e r y c a r e f u l l y an introduction, setting out the constitution of the Area Forums, under 'Part V of the Local Government Act 1972' and numerous other Acts. This set the scene – boring - very boring – yawn.

"Only local, street-based items would be considered. Policy matters would not be discussed. Once it had been raised and accepted, they could NOT raise it again for six months. The performance had nine acts, the first three of which were petitions.

Friern Barnet library

"There were four people (initially) who presented their petition to 'Save Friern Barnet Library', and it appeared that it might only get as far as the rubbish bin that night. Interventions from Cllr Coakley Webb led to animated discussions by the performers, and the script was rewritten. It will go back to the Town Hall, and then go in the bin.

"The petitioners wanted to speak, but were told it was a 'policy matter', so could not be discussed. The audience took a vote, and decided it was a 'street-based, local issue', and was eligible under the rules. The petitioner spoke loudly, and the compere softly, so we heard the loudest voice.

Pinkham Way

"At least eight people wanted to speak in Act Six, the traffic rat-run between Colney Hatch Lane and Friern Barnet Road. But were not allowed to.

"... Right, if we can’t ask our questions we wish to make some additional points about increased traffic, including future refuse lorry movements."

"Compere’s ears prick up. 'What lorries? Where are they going?' Answer: 'Barnet refuse lorries, going to Pinkham Way.'

"Explosion from stage. Voice raised 1.5 decibels at least:
"Pinkham Way is 'planning'. You are not allowed to raise planning matters. You have an opportunity at the planning committee, so: IT WILL NOT BE DISCUSSED TONIGHT."
"Voice from audience:
"Three people for three minutes at the planning committee is not consultation, nor is it democracy."
"Explosion from audience, followed by mass audience participation, including about six people from Pinkham Way, although all joined in. Allegations of dictatorship, agenda rigging, and failure to understand 'Localism', partnership, or democracy were met with a response from the stage, in a low tone, with an air of uncertainty.

"It appears that pages from 'Alice in Wonderland' had got mixed up with the official script. At one stage, we were told that the council 'knew what it was doing'. This answer was probably given in error, as the audience knew what the play was all about, and didn’t like it.

"All of a sudden, there were thirty critics, all shouting from the same script, albeit not the actor’s version."

For a longer version of this entertainment review:

Link to Barnet's Mr Reasonable

...and equal entertainment at another 'Residents Forum' was reported by Mrs Angry:

It's that picture again!
- will Barnet ever be able to live down the MetPro scandal?
Click above for Mrs Angry's report on Residents Forum

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