Barnet Council meetings could be postponed for a month after new committee system found to be ‘flawed’

16:34 17 June 2014

Barnet Council chief executive Andrew Travers.

Barnet Council chief executive Andrew Travers.


The chief executive of Barnet Council may be forced to suspend all council meetings for a month after the authority’s new committee system was found to be “flawed”.

Andrew Travers today announced that he wished to postpone all council meetings until at least July 15 - the date of the next full council meeting, where it is hoped the problems will be rectified.

But Mr Travers must have the proposal approved by both group leaders before any decision can be made.

It is understood he is currently awaiting a response from one of the party leaders.

The saga follows confusion over the membership and political balance of the council’s new environment committee which met for the first time last week.

Following the issues encountered last week, Mr Travers asked senior legal officer Hugh Peart to review the committee arrangements and was subsequently informed that the new system was “flawed”.

In January, the council agreed to scrap the cabinet sytem of decision-making and replace it with a cross-party committee system.

Today, Mr Travers wrote to councillors, explaining: “Mr Peart reported to me yesterday that the proportionality report agreed by council was flawed and could not form the basis of sound decision-making.

“I accordingly informed members of this at the scheduled meeting of assets, regeneration and growth committee last night.

“I subsequently asked Mr Peart to confirm his view by obtaining external legal advice. He has now obtained the advice of James Gaudie QC.

“Mr Gaudie has confirmed Mr Peart’s view that the proportionality report agreed at council was flawed. Mr Gaudie further advises that the council should put this right at the first opportunity.

“He does, however, go on to say that it is open to the council to continue with scheduled committees in the meantime, and that decisions taken would be valid.

“I will consult with the group leaders on whether scheduled meetings should continue on this basis. In the meantime, I have asked that this evening’s licensing committee is postponed.

“The current position is deeply regrettable and I apologise sincerely to all members. The move to committee system was always going to be challenging but the change has not been implemented as efficiently as members, or indeed residents, should expect from the council.

“It is important that there is a clear understanding of how this situation has arisen and what action, if any, should be taken.

“I will be appointing an external reviewer to conduct an urgent investigation into the processes leading to the reports presented to annual council on June 2. This will be published at the earliest opportunity.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories


Four Weddings and a Funeral film star Sophie Thompson donated a piece of art to an exhibition in aid of the National Hospital for Neurology in Queen’s Square, Bloomsbury.


They say the allegations are part of a smear campaign against them by cyclists who want to see CS11 implemented in North West London.

Yesterday, 18:23

A banned pet owner who crammed dozens of animals into her filthy Crouch Hill home has been spared jail – again.

Yesterday, 13:38

Plans to double the size of Brent Cross Shopping Centre in a £1.4billion makeover have been revealed by its owners today.

Yesterday, 12:52

The husband of West Hampstead mum Nazanin Ratcliffe has won the backing of more than 100 British politicians in calling for foreign secretary Boris Johnson to secure her release from a five-year jail sentence in Iran.

Yesterday, 11:17

Plans to develop Hornsey Town Hall into a hotel were approved by Haringey Cabinet on Tuesday, despite an impassioned last minute plea from campaigners

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cyclists say they are lucky nobody was seriously injured after tacks were discovered on the roads inside Regents Park as the row over a proposed new cycle superhighway in north west London escalates.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now