Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Friday, 27 July 2012

Councillor Briefings

I just wanted to report that we had two good briefing sessions at the Town Hall for Councillors on thursday evening. The first was on crime with Cllr David Longstaff. I won't go into the details of the discussions, as they were meant to be a freethinking exchange, but on behalf of East Finchley residents, I raised the visibility of policing in places like estates, and that it's important for people to see police and PCSOs on the streets to help reduce the fear of crime. I also said that they need to liase with childrens and youth services to keep services available to young people to keep them out of trouble.

Cllr Dean Cohen spoke about waste and street scene. I said that it shouldn't be easier to throw rubbish away than recycle, and that it might be an idea to change the communal rubbish chute in a tower block into the recycling chute, and make people go to a communal bin to take their refuse, rather than the other way round that it operates at the moment. I also raised that recycling banks can be in inaccessible or undesireable locations. On Prospect Ring, the recycling bank is set away fron the pavement, and the grass in front has now been ground down to mud, and it's a very unpleasant experience taking your recycling there, especially in winter. Or even the weather as it was three weeks ago come to think about it!

Cllr Cohen also said we are replacing recycling boxes with new wheelie bins where you can chuck in all your recycling. The technology, as Cllr Andreas Tambourides described after a visit to a plant in Enfield, can sort it all out at the factory. Barnet has a recycling rate of 33%, which is 281 out of 358 LAs in the country. When I was a student in Canterbury in 2006, the rate there was 47%, so we are well behind the curve, and I hope these proposals will lead to a drastic improvement. Meeting recycling targets has been mentioned as a reason not to go ahead with the Pinkham Way incinertor.

There were lots of good points made, and full discussions. It's good that we are being asked for feedback into council strategies.There are other sessions next week on health and wellbeing and culture and tourism. (I imagine the latter will be very short.)

I am grateful to Cllrs Longstaff and Cohen for holding these discussions.