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

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

My written questions at council

Question 12 Councillor Arjun Mittra
What efforts is the Council making to improve the energy efficiency of Council offices, bearing in
mind that the council has missed its targets this year by some way, and the indicators show that the
situation is getting worse?
Answer by Councillor Daniel Thomas
Barnet Council has actively undertaken Energy and Water Conservation Management within its
operational estate and schools. The opportunity for undertaking improvements within the estate
can be restricted by landlord arrangements and the ability to achieve a satisfactory payback on
properties the Council does not own. The Council is also undertaking energy efficiency
improvements within the community with a major programme of improvement works to its street
lighting infrastructure to deliver both financial and environmental savings.
We have focused on operational areas but equally have been looking at the council offices
however with the increased energy usage reported for the Councils main offices was principally
influenced by additional weekend building usage at NLBP Building 4, the largest of the Council’s
offices. Proposals on appropriate changes to the building’s services to more efficiently facilitate out
of hours usage will be considered.

I asked in my supplementary for them to look at NLBP building 4 and the town hall, because it's embarrasing that visitors to the Town Hall see that both buildings have the worst energy efficiency ratings. Daniel Thomas said he would look into it. Fair enough.

Question 42 Councillor Arjun Mittra
Will the Council continue to press forward with efforts to reclaim the Old Barn for community use?
Answer by Councillor Robert Rams
Yes, the Council is pressing forward with efforts to ensure that this facility is open for community

I was absolutely livid with this answer. I said that there are severe problems on the Grange estate with youth, knife and gun crime, largely because the Old Barn is not accessible to the local community. When I ask you to continue to press forwards to reclaim the Old Barn, I want details. Cllr Rams merely said that it was inappropriate to say "for Gods sake" at the end. alright then, FFS. I don't criticise Councillors publicly, and won't in this instance, but I think it tells you all you need to know about Robert Rams.

Question 55 Councillor Arjun Mittra
Will the Council consider the drainage problems in Cherry Tree Woods, which have prevented
the East Finchley festival from going ahead this year.
Answer by Councillor Dean Cohen
Cherry Tree Woods is naturally the lowest point in this area of the Borough and the park i
the flood plain for excess water. During the current year greenspace officers are intending to
provide additional park ponds and wet scraping (seasonal pond) measures to enable the park to
cope better and to promote wild-life.
This year the particularly wet weather has meant that the Festival was not able to go ahead, this is
very unusual. Unfortunately this has been the case for a number of parks events, due to the
extreme weather conditions identified.
s naturally
I did not get a chance to ask a supplementary, but in the break, I told Cllr Cohen that the problem is that the drainage is blocked. He asked me to keep him informed, as we are working on this issues with others.

Question 58 Councillor Arjun Mittra
Does the Council support the Government's proposals for Gay marriage? If not, why not?
Answer by Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of the Councillor
People chose to live with whom they will. That choice can be legally codified by civil partnership or
marriage and the union marked by a ceremony and its dissolution by legal divorce. I do not have
any difficulty in civil partnership becoming marriage. However, it seems intolerant to compel any
religious organisation to conduct or bless a “marriage” when that is contrary to the faith of the
organisation and contrary to its definition of marriage. This would seem to me to be just the sort of
intolerance that made life so difficult for the Gay community in the past.

I did not get to ask the question, but I agree with what Richard said.