Tuesday 29 November 2011

Mr Travers has a nice day out

Mrs Angry's favourite Fat Cat, lying adoringly at her feet, of course

Andrew Travers. Unlikely to find himself in the same position.

Everyone has their guilty pleasures. Mrs Angry has far too many, but then, being the product of a good Catholic upbringing, she knows that guilt and pleasure always go hand in hand, and these emotions are usually mutually beneficial. This is not always the case, of course, in Broken Barnet.

The London Borough of Broken Barnet's own guilty pleasure, our favourite friend without benefit, small but costly Andrew Travers, the £1,000 a day deputy Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer, is having a big day out today.

He has gone up to town to a big hotel to give a talk, you know. Andrew will be attending a Capita Conference - 'New Models of Service Delivery', exploring the timely subject of 'Opening up Local Government to New Providers'.

By a happy coincidence, the London Borough of Broken Barnet is, as we speak, opening up local government to new providers, and goodness me, look: Capita is one of the four short listed companies tendering for £750 million of our council services.

The conference will be beside themselves with excitement, therefore, at 12.25, waiting for Andrew to pass on, in his twenty minute slot, the wisdom of his views on the following issues:

The One Barnet Transformation Programme

• Creating a new relationship between public services and citizens
• Encouraging self-help and behaviour change
• Simplifying systems and access to services
• Creating a single customer services organisation
• A single Barnet insight function to support joint commissioning
• New ways of ‘bundling and delivering services’

Andrew 'Black Hole' Travers is of course a world renowned expert on all these issues, as we discovered at the time of the MetPro Audit Report. Just in case you are lost for words, Andrew, here are some briefing notes for you, thoughtfully prepared by Mrs Angry. No need to thank her.

One Barnet certainly has transformed the relationship between public services and citizens: from one of apathy and lack of engagement to one of overt hostility, mutual loathing and open warfare.

Self help is a concept familiar to all senior executives of the London Borough of Broken Barnet, particularly amongst the ever increasing number of fat cat, over paid, 'interim' consultants who manage to wangle themselves lovely jobs in our borough, at our ever increasing expense.

Simplifying systems means throwing everything together for the ease and increased profitability of outsourcing companies, but without regard for the effects for residents.

Creating a single customer services organisation is a disastrous idea, trying to combine differing types of access needs into one function is ludicrous and presents serious risk for vulnerable service users.

Joint commissioning? Anything which emerges from the One Barnet PR mouth with the words 'insight function' is doomed to fail in the real world. What does 'insight' in this respect mean, in fact, other than a team of largely pointless senior officers sitting around all day reading twitter or staring out of the window?

Bundling and delivering services: rushing out an OJEU the day after the catastraphic MetPro audit so as to get the £750 million package process in course before anyone can stop them, and the outsourcing companies might have had to come to terms with a grave disappointment, and broken promises.

Just to make our Mr Travers feel at home, and support him on his big day out, some Barnet residents, including blogger Citizen Barnet, will be there at the Lancaster Hotel today, waiting to greet him warmly - and to protest against the shameless prostitution of our local services.


baarnett said...

Gosh, by some fluke, I am reading your post at the very time that Andrew is giving his words of wisdom to the audience.

I can picture the scene, a Powerpoint presentation (which you can no doubt FoI - and see who provided it, as well), some droning-on, and Mr Offord in the wings, ready to bring on the soup course for lunch which follows.

(And I've just noticed that you allow Anon comments on your blog, Mrs A. You didn't used to, did you? Is that to encourage friendless current and ex-Cabinet members to communicate, under a cloak of anonimity?)

Mr Mustard said...

The cat does look comfortable Mrs A. I see the cat is at the foot end of the bed so can I rest my head on your pillows?

Mrs Angry said...

baarnett: I didn't know I had done anything re anon comments, still trying to fix probs, but solving the wrong ones evidently. Tried pop ups, then stopped, then went back. Give up: boring.

Mrs Angry said...

and Mr Mustard: behave yourself. He is a very jealous cat,as it happens, and has a tendency to bite ankles. Rather like Mrs Angry.

Mrs Angry said...

Mrs Angry notes with amusement that she has a new twitter follower, the local govt expert at Grant Thornton. It has been suggested to Mrs Angry that on the basis of her own reputation of expertise in audit, GT are about to offer her a partnership. This is quite likely, she imagines, if only to curry favour with bf Eric Pickles.

Mrs Angry is of course available for conference speeches and corporate training sessions: Capita, Serco, BT,GT, Axon: see her agent, then kiss her a....

Citizen Barnet said...

I think I gave a leaflet to Andrew Travers today outside the conference. It is hard to know what he looks like - we just pay his wages

I did have fun google imaging Barnet and Andrew Travers - what a colourful medley of pictures. Barnet looks quite fun! No picture of Andrew Travers though. Well, I don't think so.

Mrs Angry said...

No: he is rather camera shy. Always best to remain a moving target, in this game,isn't it?