Friday, 12 April 2013

Barnet is a top performing Council - So why are they making 397 staff redundant?

In questions and answers for Barnet's Council meeting on Tuesday we see the following:

Question 14    Councillor Reuben Thompstone
 How does Barnet Council compare with other London boroughs on measures of efficiency?

Answer by Councillor Daniel Thomas
Barnet compares favourably to other London authorities when comparing the Value for Money of all council services. We benchmark our performance and financial information each quarter, in arrears. In Quarter 2 2012/13, Barnet was ranked in second place in London for the total number of ‘high performing and low cost’ services. This indicator measures the total number of council services rated as high performance and low cost. Only the London Borough of Bexley had a higher proportion of services rated as high performing and low cost (70%), with Barnet in second place (54%).

Question 46 Councillor Hugh Rayner
Has there been any movement on the average time it takes to process a new housing benefit claim? 

 Answer by Councillor Daniel Thomas
In September 2012 the average time taken to process a new housing benefit claim was 19 days. Through the introduction of the new face-to-face process in Burnt Oak Library and Barnet House, this figure was reduced to 10 days by the end of February 2013 (the latest month for which figures are available). This performance is one of the best in London and is in the top 10 of all local authorities in Great Britain

Question 60 Councillor Joan Scannell
Could the Cabinet Member inform us of the current collection rates for council tax and business rates?

Answer by Councillor Daniel Thomas
The final in-year collection rates for 2012/13 were 96.6% for Council Tax and 95.8% for business rates. The equivalent figures for 2011/12 were 96.0% and 94.9%. 

 So there you have it from the pen of Cllr Dan Thomas. Out of the 32 London Boroughs, Barnet is second in place for efficiency, delivery of housing benefit claims is the best in London and Council Tax collection continues to improve. This is BEFORE One Barnet Outsourcing. Yet the Council want to make 397 staff redundant and ship the jobs off to the the rest of the UK. The Council should be thanking the hard working council staff - who scored so highly in the residents perception survey - not making them redundant. Only in Barnet.

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