Monday 13 April 2009

Pot, Kettle, Black

Andrew Dismore, the Labour MP for Hendon, recently issued a press statement criticising Councillor Lynne Hillan’s proposal to slash the warden service for residents living in sheltered accommodation.

Barnet Council Watch is no supporter of Mr Dismore, but neither does it support the proposal to cut a service which so many elderly residents have come to rely on.

In response to Mr Dismore, Cllr Hillan issued her own statement saying: “To suggest services should not change and develop as circumstances dictate shows he remains wedded to the past. The fact is he has never been a minister, nor held political office when he was a Westminster councillor, means he has no experience of managing budgets or having to make tough decisions.”

Creditors of Lynne Hillan’s company, Ashurst Direct Marketing Ltd, which went into liquidation in September 2006 with debts of more than £121,000 (including £10,650 to the taxman) probably have reasonable grounds to question her ability to manage a budget.

Cllr Hillan has yet to make a public statement as to whether she will accept or refuse the 14% rise in her council allowances which she recently voted for herself


Rog T said...


Lynn Hillan has shown she can take tough decisions. When faced with the decision of which care home to move her nearest and dearest to, she chose one where Barnet were keeping the wardens, even though this would leave her open to the charge that she was a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Lets be honest. Old people are an easy target, so councillors simply do not care. Far better elected representatives vote themselves unjustified pay increases, lavish expenses and go on lots of jolly fact finding missions, rather than provide adequate services for people in need.

But one day this will come back to bite them them on the arse. We have an ageing population, with more and more voters needing support to care for elderly relatives.

This decision will not be forgotten.

Don't Call Me Dave said...


I agree with you. Perhaps if we had a few older – and dare I say wiser – councillors in the Executive, then this catastrophic proposal would not have ever seen the light of day.

In a civilised society, we respect our senior citizens and the cost of providing the warden service they need is a small price to pay to ensure their final years are safe and secure.

If Councillors do not treat residents the way they would like to be treated themselves, then they will have to face the consequences.

Anonymous said...


I agree that senior citizens should be 'safe and secure' as you rightly say, but it is also about enabling people to keep their independence.

If wardens are removed, it means some people will have no alternative but to go into full-time residential care.

The cost of full-time residential care is far more per head than providing a warden who is shared amongst a group of people.

Apart from being the wrong decision on moral grounds, it is clearly another massive cock-up in financial terms too.

This will not be a saving, but an additional burden on the borough. This short sighted decision will waste even more money in the long term.

Don't Call Me Dave said...


It clearly makes sense to help residents be as independent as possible. The problem is that some politicians think only about the short term. By the long term problems you have described come into effect, the people responsible will have long gone – or they hope we will have forgotten what they did.

Lynne Hillan talks about making tough decisions. The tough decision would be to cut out waste and bureaucracy and to stand up to the vested interests of chief officers.