Jun 17 2012

Barnet Bugle: Harrow-Brent Joint Legal Services falls at the first hurdle

It’s not often we stray much outside the boundaries of Harrow to bring news to the readers of iharrow.com, but in this case, we’ll make a worthwhile exception.

Much has been trumpeted by Harrow Council over the potential cost savings of merging it’s own legal services group with those of Barnet. Less legal experts means less money spent, right? Of course, quality of service won’t be affected…

Our friends over at the Barnet Bugle have already noticed the first cock up of this plan, whereby a Harrow legel officer wasn’t aware of the rules of Brent Council:

Councillor Andreas Tambourides allowed the planning meeting to proceed after 10.30pm. The Bugle has videos of the whole process and as you can see, there is a room full of Barnet Council officials, councillors and advisors as well as various other people milling around (as an aside, this vindicates the decision of the Barnet Eye to campaign for the right to video Council meetings. We do however believe that this proves the case for full official video footage of all meetings) – http://www.barnetbugle.com/journal/2012/6/13/whats-the-time-councillor-tambourides.html – with business proceeding until 11pm.

The Bugle correctly reports that decisions taken after 10.30pm are technically null and void. What the Bugle failed to report was the reason for the cock up. Barnet Council is in the process of outsourcing it’s legal department to Harrow Council (a Labour Council). Many legal staff will now become employees of Harrow Council and work for Harrow Legal Services. The planning meeting on Tuesday night was the first fruit of this union. As the regular legal officer from Barnet could not make it, one was drafted in from Harrow, who was unfamiliar with the rules and constitution of the committee. At the point where Councillor Tambourides needed to be told to stop, no such instruction was given by the Harrow Officer, unaware of the arcane Barnet rules.

You can read the whole story over on the Barnet Bugle’s site.



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