IN DEPTH: Lynne Hillan - I will lead Tories to Barnet success
PUBLISHED: 16:32 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 07 September 2010
BARNET Council is more akin to shopping website Amazon than no-frills airline EasyJet, says its new leader Lynne Hillan. The Conservative councillor is Barnet s first female leader. She took over from Mike Freer – who is standing in the general election i
BARNET Council is more akin to shopping website Amazon than
no-frills airline EasyJet, says its new leader Lynne Hillan.
The Conservative councillor is Barnet's first female leader.
She took over from Mike Freer - who is standing in the general election in Finchley and Golders Green - in December and hopes to lead her party to success in the May elections.
Ms Hillan has been instrumental in Barnet's Future Shape proposals. These earned the authority the tag EasyCouncil and have been hailed as a blueprint for Tory councils across the country.
Ms Hillan said: "I do agree with the EasyCouncil policy although it is probably not the no-frills one immediately thinks of.
"It is more like Amazon where you get various choices on how you want your goods delivered - next day, within three or four days or you can pay an annual subscription and have them all delivered within 24 hours.
"That is the sort of service our residents are looking at from their council - the service that you get from the private sector, which they should be getting from the public sector as well."
The scheme will allow residents to prioritise services they want and pay a top-up to add to basic council services which will be on offer.
It is intended to cut costs, improve working across public sector bodies and keep frontline services, say the Tories. "We want to offer an excellent service to all of our residents," Cllr Hillan said. "There will be no cuts to frontline services but Future Shape is about offering a much more efficient service to the benefit of our residents at a lower cost."
The North Finchley resident has been a councillor for Brunswick Park for the past 12 years.
"I am proud to live in Barnet and I am very excited about the upcoming election," she said.
"We have got some great new candidates and they are all very keen and active. Our ambition is to turn the whole of Barnet blue. We have turned around the borough in the last 12 years since we took control.
"We have protected all of our green spaces and cleaned up the streets and graffiti and we have managed to bring in a zero per cent council tax increase this year, which is the first time in the history of Barnet.
"It is one of the safest boroughs in London and we now have the best schools - although when we came to power we had several schools in special measures and were in danger of being taken over by the government.
"We pledge to keep council tax down as low as possible, provide even more efficient services and provide first-class education for every single child."
She also believes that people need to take responsibility for their own lives and play an active role in the community. "A pet hate of mine is the nanny state," she said. "There is a huge shared responsibility here and we all have to take part and we will support people to do that.