Wednesday 14 January 2009
Pay more to bury your children because Reynolds is off to the sun again
Brian Coleman was interviewed by Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 last week. He repeated that well known truism: “The only certainty in life is death and taxes.” Unfortunately, in Barnet, the cost of dying is about to get a bit more expensive.
Next week the Cabinet Resources Committee will be discussing a recommendation to increase burial charges by 10% for children under 3 years of age. It is hard to imagine anything more tragic than parents having to bury a child. But for Barnet Council it is simply a money making opportunity.
Barnet proudly boasts that the increase in council tax is lower than the rate of inflation yet interment fees for stillborn children will rise by 7.84% which is considerably higher.
David Cameron has spent three years trying to create an image of caring Conservatism, but nobody in Barnet Town Hall appears to have read the script.
At the same time, the attendee list for the MIPIM property junket in the South of France has been announced and, once again, Acting Chief Executive Brian Reynolds (pictured hard left) will be going. Regular readers of this blog will recall I have previously written about his attendance at this pointless jolly.
Tickets for delegates cost £1,300 each (inc VAT). Then add the cost of flights, the luxury hotel (they don’t do cheap in Cannes), gourmet restaurants etc and suddenly it’s a lot of our money down the drain.
We are in the midst of a long and deep recession. Barnet residents are concerned for their jobs and are tightening their belts. Pensioners are having to dip into their savings to pay their council tax bills because interest rates have collapsed. Yet the public sector arrogantly and contemptuously thinks that it is immune from the realities of the real world.
Mike Freer once claimed that he would be ruthless on cost cutting. Well prove it Mike and tell Reynolds that he can’t go. Tell him that if he seriously wants to be considered for the job of Chief Executive, then he needs to act responsibly in these difficult times and stay in his office and do some real work.
And while you are at it, tell your Cabinet colleagues that if they dare approve the plans to raise burial charges for children, the public will not forgive them.