Were Barnet’s Tory councillors secretly whipped? Barnet bloggers call for an investigation
At Barnet Council’s full council meeting on 16 July, Councillor Brian Coleman alleged that Barnet’s Conservative members are ‘entirely whipped’ when attending scrutiny and other Council meetings, including those dealing with the highly controversial One Barnet privatisation programme.
According to the Council’s constitution, any whipping arrangements must be declared, but we believe that no such declarations have been made at any of the relevant recent meetings. Such actions would be in breach of the constitution and therefore unlawful.
If Councillor Coleman’s allegations are true, this clearly has very serious implications and casts into doubt the legality of many of the highly significant decisions which have been taken by the current administration, most importantly the decision to grant two massive contracts to Capita and Capita Symonds in the outsourcing of a large number of our local council services.
We therefore call on the Leader of the Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, to instigate an immediate and independent public inquiry into the claims made by his former colleague, and we also ask that the authority’s external auditors at Grant Thornton should as a matter of public interest hold an urgent inquiry into the allegations. Residents need to know whether decisions have been made legally and whether Tory councillors have acted constitutionally.
19 July 2013