Friday, 15 July 2011

£300,000 wasted in Barnet

Last year plans for the redevelopment of Brunswick Park Hub were hastily put forward. They were rather glossy plans and even included a new swimming pool to replace the ageing and “not fit for purpose” Church Farm Pool. However, one key issue was that they wanted to build part of the scheme on Metropolitan Open Land. With objections from the Mayor of London and the short timescale for gaining permission led to the situation where the Council missed the funding window and the scheme was dropped. The redoubtable Barnet Bugle has investigated this at some length and has unearthed a great deal of information through Freedom of Information requests.

One thing I was still unclear about was how much this has cost Barnet Council taxpayers. I still don’t know the full extent of the costs but as part of my audit investigation I have unearthed a bill from Elevate Partnership for £299,269 who worked on the design of the scheme. So much money for absolutely no return.

As the Barnet Bugle has quite rightly reminded me, the real tragedy here is that the old facilities were closed to make way for the new scheme, and the local community is now worse off than they were before.

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