Brian Coleman, AM, FRSA, Tory GLA candidate for Barnet and Camden
Oh look: more fun with Freedom of Information requests that have been extracted, painfully, and slowly, like rotten teeth, from the London Borough of Broken Barnet: see - here is a timely press release from Andrew Dismore, Labour candidate for the GLA in regard to the actitivies (or lack of them) of our current London assembly member, Brian Coleman.
Coleman falls down on the job – again!
Andrew Dismore, Labour’s candidate for the London Assembly for Barnet and Camden has today published the response to his freedom of information request to Barnet council, concerning sitting GLA member Brian Coleman’s lack of correspondence with the Council on key issues. ( attached below)
Mr Dismore said:
“Yet again, after all the previous FoI responses, we see that Mr Coleman has fallen down on the job. He has not written a single letter with representations to the Council over such key issues as housing policy and housing benefit cuts, the regenerations, or the closure of libraries and youth services. Just what is he doing for the salary and allowances he receives as a Councillor and Assembly member? Time and again, the response to FoI requests has been the same: he seems to be a complete stranger to pen and paper or computer keyboard. People of Barnet and Camden have been let down by Mr Coleman’s failure to stand up for them on these vitally important issues.”
FoI request and reply from Barnet council:
Dear Mr Dismore
I am writing regarding your request, received by the London Borough of Barnet (the Council) on 11 August 2011 for access to the following information:
“Copies of all correspondence sent to and received from Cllr Brian Coleman AM for Barnet and Camden on the following issues in his capacity as both AM and as a Barnet Councillor:
1. Housing policy with respect to affordable and social homes provision in the Borough
2. the impact of housing benefit cuts on Barnet residents
3. the regeneration schemes for West Hendon, Grahame Park, Spur rd/Stonegrove
4. the Cricklewood/Brent Cross regeneration scheme
5. proposed library closures
6. youth facilities in the Borough
I would like 1 to 4 to cover the period since May 2008; and 5 and 6 for the last 18 months.”
We are processing your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). Under the FOIA and the EIR you were entitled to receive a response within 20 working days of receipt of your request. Please accept my apology on behalf of the Council for failing to meet this deadline. My response to your request is below.
I can confirm that the Council does not hold the requested information.Hmm. I am afraid I must disagree with you, Andrew. Brian Coleman has a keen interest in housing. Mrs Angry has been checking her blog: remember the council meeting of 20th October, last year? According to her report:
"And now here comes Coleman with his contribution: this time he lets loose on those housing benefit scroungers who all want to live in Belgravia and Mayfair and expect the state to pay. I have to agree with you there, though, Brian, expecting to have your accommodation subsidised by anyone is appalling, isn't it? Eh? And then, with one bound, he is spouting off on the subject of creating slums. Slums like Graham Park. If there are any slum conditions in Grahame Park, you unspeakably objectionable man, I suggest that you remember who has created them. A slum is not a building: a slum is a neglected building."
And it is unfair to say he is a stranger to the computer keyboard.
As the picure above demonstrates, Brian is always sat at his pc, keen to interact with his constituents. Sometimes he even has his eyes open.
Many lucky people have had a cheery reply - or even a phone call - from Councillor Coleman to their emails inviting his comments on a wide range of issues. He has such a number of these annoying communications, in fact, that he is very often obliged to inform the sender that they should remove him from their mailing list - a man of Mr Coleman's eminent status simply cannot be expected to deal with this sort of nonsense, can he?
Some correspondents, as we know, have even been troubling Brian recently with their dreadful whinging about housing problems. Ms Sharada Osman, a single mother of a six year old boy with special needs, worrying about how she is going to pay her extortionate rent rise for her two bedroomed flat, confided the details of her circumstances to Brian Coleman and was thrilled to receive a reply from him, sitting at his desk in his own low rent charity two bedroomed flat, low rent fixed at exactly half of what she struggles to pay, telling her to live in the real world and not expect the system to sort her life out. 'This correspondence is now closed', he then informed her.
And that is why, Mr Dismore, there is no need for Councillor Coleman to raise such matters with Barnet Council. In his own unique way, he is perfectly capable of dealing with such concerns himself, a One Barnet, one stop shop, ever conscious of the One Barnet mantra: a relentless drive for efficiency.
Relentless, certainly. Efficient? Make your own minds up and tell him next May.
Or maybe send him an email and tell him now. Go on: Mrs Angry dares you:
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org