We like it here’ say 88 per cent of Barnet residents

The Press Release below highlights the latest results from the Residents’ Perception Survey.
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‘We like it here’ say 88 per cent of Barnet residents

The vast majority of Barnet residents feel positive about their local area and council and think local services are improving, a survey has revealed.

Of the 1,600 residents questioned in the Barnet Residents’ Perception Survey, 88 per cent said they were satisfied with their local area as a place to live, a two per cent increase on the previous survey in 2010.

Despite the council making £42m savings over the last three years, 72 per cent of residents felt the council was doing a good job, offering value for money (55 per cent) and improving their area (60 per cent).

Residents’ top three concerns were crime (31 per cent), road and pavement conditions (26 per cent) and level of council tax (23 per cent)

Council tax has overtaken rising prices and interest rates as a major concern from the previous survey.

Residents are also now more concerned with traffic congestion, litter and dirty streets, and lack of affordable housing compared to 2010’s survey.

Nine services saw significant increases in satisfaction (roads, adult social services, education, children social services, parks, playgrounds & open spaces, pavements and housing benefit service).

Street cleansing and libraries saw a three per cent drop in satisfaction ratings while parking and council leisure facilities saw a four per cent decrease in satisfaction.

Council Leader Councillor Richard Cornelius: “Barnet has chosen to cut the cost of administration rather than reduce services. Residents seem to like this and share our concerns at the levels of council tax.

“We have reflected our residents’ concerns about the level of council tax by taking the decision not to increase it for the fourth year running.

“Of course there are always areas for improvement and we’ll be looking at the results closely. This consultation helps to inform our plans and last year we spent an extra £4.5m on roads and pavements and supporting younger residents not in employment, education or training in response to a previous perception survey.”

The Residents’ Perception Survey was conducted by an independent market research company.

Telephone interviews were conducted with over 1,600 residents (adults 18+) from a representative quota sample on age, gender, ethnic origin and housing tenure across the London Borough of Barnet.

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East Barnet Post Office Update

Cllr Joanna Tambourides wrote to the Post Office asking for clarification on a couple of issues.

She wrote,

” You state that the new post office will be open from 5.30am to 8pm Mon-Sat and 6-4pm Sunday. I assume that these are the shop opening hours for Messrs McKinnon where the new Post Office will be located. Does this mean that the Post Office counter will be manned and services available during these hours too? The hours seem surprisingly long, and I wonder if you could confirm this point. ”

Below is the reply from the Post Office.

East Barnet Post Office® branch
282 East Barnet Road, Barnet, EN4 8TD

Thank you for your email received 09 January 2013. We are pleased to hear of your support for the proposed move. Your comments have been received and will be carefully considered as part of the local public consultation. This programme forms part of our wider transformation plans for our existing network across the UK.

As you are aware, we are proposing to relocate and modernise East Barnet Post Office and introduce our new local style format. I can confirm that the opening hours shown on the information letter are correct and Post Office services will be available from 5.30am – 8.00pm Monday to Saturday and 6.00am – 4.00pm on Sundays.

The local model proposed for East Barnet Post Office provides Post Office services via a service point on the retail counter and integrates well with an existing retail business allowing customers to access their retail and Post Office services at the same time. One of the benefits of the model are the longer opening hours our operator can provide as the Post Office will open for the same hours as the retail operation. So that our partner can offer these extended hours, all staff members will be trained on the Post Office system. You may be interested to know that customer satisfaction in the pilot branches has been independently measured and shows that customers particularly like the longer opening hours, as they can access our services for longer, at times which may suit their lifestyle better. This appears to be changing customers’ routines in terms of how and when consumers are using our services, with visits spread across the opening hours.

The public consultation period ends on 19 February 2013, your views have been noted and will be included in the decision making process, After the close of consultation we will undertake a final review of the correspondence we have received and evaluate if any changes need to be made to our original proposal. Once the final decisions are taken we will write to you again confirming these details; information posters will also be displayed in the current branch to inform our customers of the outcome.

I hope that I have been able to address your points and thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Alex Bruckshaw
Programme Correspondence Team

East Barnet Post Office – Consultation on new premises

The Post Office is consulting on moving the East Barnet Post Office.

It is being proposed that the Post Office is moved from 285 East Barnet Road to 265 East Barnet Road. They are proposing to open the new shop seven days a week and for longer hours. These are 05.30 to 20.00 Monday to Saturday and 06.00 to 16.00 on a Sunday.

The new site will have step free access, which the old site does not.

You can have your say by emailing comments@postoffice.co.uk, writing to Freepost Your Comments or by calling 08457 22 33 44

Consultation closes on the 19th February.

Friern Barnet Library Press Release

Below is a copy of the full press release sent out today regarding Freirn Barnet Library.

Community Barnet asked to support local groups interested in future of former Friern Barnet Library building

Barnet Council has asked Community Barnet to support community organisations seeking to make “Right to Bid” proposals for the former Friern Barnet Library Building.

Councillor Robert Rams, cabinet member for libraries said: “We have been able to support a very successful community run library in Hampstead Garden Suburb, in large part because local residents have a fully accountable and effectively organised body that we can provide with public assets.

“I’d very much like to see a similar body in Friern Barnet and Community Barnet seems perfectly placed to support groups of local residents in becoming properly established and able to develop a “Right to Bid” proposal. I understand that they have already had an approach from a potential group. Ideally we would only have a single bid but we could consider more than one.”

As the next step in the Right to Bid process, the council will confirm its intention to market the building at Cabinet Resources Committee in February. Bids cannot be formally invited before that decision.

“I’d like to stress,” said Councillor Rams, “that because of the success of the One Barnet procurement process we have more contractual savings than we expected and the council is in a different financial position than when we started our library review. We also have slightly less pressure on our capital budget which gives us the scope to look favourably on bids for the building from local residents.”

Any bid for the site would be bound by full planning and building regulations.

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