Thursday 7 July 2011

Breaking: it's official - Eric Pickles loves Mrs Angry

... before the injunctions start flying - a tweet has just appeared from James Sillman, Local Government Chronicle reporter at the CIPFA conference where Eric Pickles has been speaking:

"Pickles slams easycouncil barnet for procurement fiasco and praises local bloggers for helping expose it "

Think it might have something to do with the photo of you in your shorts in 'Mr Pickles puts it about a bit', posted 30th June, Eric - am I right?

to be updated ...

yes, well, apparently it's true: Mrs Angry has been endorsed by Eric Pickles. Well and truly.

Full details to follow.

But how was it for you Mrs Angry?

Didn't feel a thing. Except a sense of shame, after it was all over.

Mr Mustard, and Barnet Eye: also named and shamed. Our credibility is compromised, as well as our virtue.

But seriously: not been a good week, has it for Barnet Council? Private Eye yesterday, Eric Pickles today ... dear, dear ... naughty naughty London Borough of Broken Barnet ...

Message for Barnet Leader Richard Cornelius, dear Brian Coleman, Andrew Harper, & all Tory councillors of Broken Barnet, plus Nick 'Non-Stick' Walkley, and Andrew 'Black Hole' Travers.

You may kiss Mrs Angry's derrière, at your earliest convenience.

* Updated 4.20pm - excerpt of Eric Pickles comment, courtesy James Sillman, Local Government Chronicle:

“I was shocked by a recent case in Barnet.

The council had hired a private security firm, MetPro, which included “keeping an eye” on the local armchair auditors and activist bloggers - at a cost of over a million pounds.

The contract had been awarded without a tendering exercise, without a written contract, and no proper invoicing.

An internal audit showed there “serious deficiencies in current procurement arrangements”, and there were no guarantees that against a repeat of such practices.

Irony of ironies - this misuse of public money was uncovered thanks to the determination of local bloggers and activists…

Including Barnet Eye. Mr Mustard. And Mrs Angry. (As she had every right to be)

Exactly the same people MetPro snooped upon.

I’ve got news for Barnet. Liveblogging from council meetings. Microjournalism. Call it what you like.

It’s here to stay.”

Couldn't have put it better myself, Mr Pickles. Thanks.

Oh, and here is Patrick Butler's latest cuts' blog on the issue in the Guardian: 'Eric Pickles praises armchair auditors':

Update: Patrick Butler's Guardian blog has a statement now from Barnet Council:

Update: Thursday 7 July, 18.56pm

Barnet council has issued a statement in response to Eric Pickles's comments on the MetPro scandal:

Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: "Something seems to have got lost in translation here. At no point has Barnet Council ever paid £1 million to "snoop" on anyone. We will be in contact with Eric Pickles' office."

Mrs Angry is responding to Councillor Cornelius with her own statement:

Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, knows perfectly well that Barnet's failure to monitor the casual arrangement they had with the illegally operating company allowed this filming to take place. The council's unregulated relationship with this company exposed residents to risk and led to serious breaches of the data protection act which are currently being investigated by the Information Commissioner, who on the 23rd June gave the LBBarnet 28 days to reply to the complaints made in relation to the filming. The authority spent £1.3 million on MetPro's services over a five year period in circumstances fully documented and heavily criticised by the findings of the council's own audit report presented by Lord Palmer last month.

Mrs Angry suggests that instead of taking action to criticise the Secretary of State, Mr Cornelius should apologise to the residents who were covertly and illicitly filmed by the council's security employees and express his thanks to the Barnet bloggers for their role in uncovering a scandalous misuse of public funds, and for revealing a culture of financial incompetence and mismanagement in his council's administration.


Mr Mustard said...

He likes all bloggers it seems Mrs A ?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Eric and Mrs Angry sitting in a tree.....

Mrs Angry said...

you, me and Barnet Eye, Mr M ... what about that eh? That's the kiss of death for our anti establishment blogging credibility ...

baarnett said...

Yeh, you're the Establishment now, Mrs A. Down with the Establishment!

But you now have a new nick-name:

"Mrs Angry, as she had every right to be"

Or "Maashertb" for short.

You are part of the vanguard of the "Barnet Spring", where the masses are rising up against the tyranny of their oppressors.