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

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Residents forum

I attended the Finchley and Golders Green residents forum last night.

All I can say is that the Council are looking for feedback on these rather limited and outdated sessions. you can let them know what you think if you can find the feedback form!

These sessions are dreary, because residents xan only report environmental issues. They are not a place where residents can voice opinions of policy, or even frankly voice opinion.

Case in point is that there were several queries on pedestrian safety, but because the committe can't affect the policy, it is not allowed to be discussed. There were a number of residents from the Garden Suburb who got more and more frustrated as time went on. I don't think they had ever seen the Council inaction in action before, and they were not impressed.

If they were annoyed with that they were even angrier with the waste and recycling changed brief. Many of the anxieties could have been answered if they had public involvement at an earlier stage. There has not been any effort to explain the background to these changes, such as the huge costs of not recycling more. Nor has there been any effort to look at some of the challenges of terraced roads, which was a prominent concern. When residents got angry, the debate was shut down. A real pity, as they could have addressed many of these concerns at the meeting, instead of being defensive.