Readers of the Barnet Times may have wondered what was going on last week. As bloggers Rog T and Vicki M have reported, articles appeared on the Barnet Times website about Mike Freer’s Future Shape project which disappeared just as quickly as they had been posted.
First to go was an article in which Chief Executive Nick Walkley admitted that the council doesn’t really want to have to take away our rubbish.
Now it simply won’t do for the local papers to accurately report what is said by public officials, so cue Barnet Council’s ravishing spin doctor,
The next day, another article appeared in which Mike Freer admitted that his Chief Executive’s comments were “cack-handed”. Better than one-handed we suppose, but clearly the Barnet Times had not learnt its lesson and within minutes of the article being published, it too had disappeared.
Fortunately, Not The Barnet Times was able to save both for posterity, here and here.
Vanessa Gearson costs Barnet Taxpayers about £80,000 a year. She is a close personal friend of Mike Freer and was previously the Conservative councillor for Garden Suburb ward. But of course none of this had any bearing whatsoever on her job application, for which her PhD in Spanish clearly made her eminently suitable.
Tim Montgomerie, who runs the highly respected Conservative Home website, once said of Dr Gearson: “I am a first hand witness of her dishonesty and incompetence”. An endorsement which obviously made her the ideal candidate for the position of Freer’s spin doctor.