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It can only get worse

December 10, 2015 11:44 PM
By Cllr Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

Councillor Jack CohenA normally mild-mannered resident was angry when he attended my ward surgery.
He brought with him a bagful of road chippings. He was furious, first at the council for, in his words, "the terrible resurfacing of his road" and, secondly, the "appalling lack of response" when he complained.
Residents across the borough have been up in arms about this particular round of road repairs. I suspect she council was trying to save money.
However, it is not about money. In my opinion, it's about effective monitoring of contracts. I find residents are more angry about what they perceive as poor workmanship and lack of resposse when they complain to the council.
Unfortunately, often I don't seem to fare much better when I raise issues with the council. This is something I warned about when the Conservatives began their programme of outsourcing.
Because private companies are running what was traditionally the job of council staff, the role of a councillor is being diluted. What is more, when I ask for details of contracts, such as the resurfacing of roads, I hit the brick wall of "commercial confidentiality".
The council plans to outsource more than 90 per cent of its services. It can only get worse.