On 5th March, Mayor of Barnet John Marshall will be hosting a dinner for former Chief Executive, Leo Boland at The Haven restaurant in Whetstone.
The big question is, who will be paying for this? Is Cllr Marshall, out of the goodness of his heart, paying from his own pocket or will he be using the Mayoral allowance provided by us, the taxpayer?
This allowance enables the Mayor to host civic functions throughout the year promoting the Borough. It is hard to see how the needs of Barnet are best served by providing a slap up meal for the former Chief Executive, who dumped us at the drop of a hat for a £200,000 pay cheque from Boris.
Let us not forget that during Boland’s time at Barnet:
- Underhill was sold unlawfully
- Partingdale Lane was re-opened unlawfully
- Council tax increased by 24% in 2003
- The Aerodrome Road bridge project went £4 million over budget
- £1.4 million was spent on near obsolete computers, many of which are now sitting in a store room gathering dust
- £14,000 was spent on televisions for chief officers
- £28 million of taxpayers money went missing, last seen somewhere near Iceland.
We are in the midst of a deep and painful recession and the public requires their elected representatives to lead by example.
If John Marshall is paying for this dinner personally, good luck to him. I hope they all have a nice evening. But if taxpayers’ money has been used for a private dinner, then it will not just be a case of snouts in the trough. It will be a case of the political classes, out of touch with reality, sticking two fingers up at the public at a time when residents are tightening their belts and cutting back on luxuries.