Friday 18 December 2009

The real cost of wardens - less than one penny a day!

Barely had the ink dried on the High Court Judgement, when warden snatcher Lynne Hillan announced that the council would appeal the decision. You can already hear the tills ringing in the lawyers’ offices.

But has she or any of those other very clever people who run the council actually considered the real cost to Barnet residents for keeping this vital service?

Hillan says the council needs to save £400,000 a year. Well clearly that’s a lot of money for one person to find. But according to Barnet’s Annual Report 2008/09, our council tax is based on there being the equivalent of 136,605 Band D properties.

In other words, the cost of the permanent warden service costs the average Barnet household just £2.93 a year. That’s 5.6p a week - less than a penny a day!

If you asked Barnet residents if they would like to see their council tax reduced (which is what happens in real Conservative councils like Hammersmith & Fulham) the majority would most likely say “yes”.

But if you then asked the same residents whether they would be prepared to pay just a penny a day to keep our senior citizens safe and secure in sheltered accommodation, the answer is a no-brainer. Nobody, apart from Lynne Hillan, could possibly begrudge spending such a trifling sum looking after the Borough’s beloved grandparents and great-grandparents.

Rather than accept defeat graciously and move on, Hillan seems determined to bury her head in the sand and ignore the results of the public consultation. Nobody disputes the need for the council to save money. The real problem, however, is that Lynne Hillan seems to know the price of everything but the value of nothing.


Drew said...

Decent and sensible comment.

The fact is this local council have no empathy with local residents. They have their own agenda and cronies to support. Rather than cut Wardens for OAP homes they should be cutting their own expenses bills (I am led to believe they are astounding). These Cllrs are a disgrace and completely out of touch and it begs the question who voted for these people?

Don't Call Me Dave said...


It would not be fair to blame the voters because the proposal to axe the wardens did not feature in the Conservative Party’s manifesto. The real blame lies with the spineless back bench councillors who just sat back and allowed Lynne Hillan to push this through. In the old days, a proposal like this would have been debated vigorously by the Conservative Group and would, most likely, have been rejected on the grounds of being unnecessary, mean and a vote loser.

But these days councillors have no cohones and they just do as they are told for fear of losing their allowances. They are every bit as responsible as Hillan.