100 days of Barnet Council’s new administration: A message from Cllr Barry Rawlings, Leader of Barnet Council


It is 100 days since Barnet’s residents voted for a new political leadership for Barnet Council.

Councillor Barry Rawlings

Councillor Barry Rawlings

We were elected with a mandate to change Barnet for the better, to put sustainability and communities at the heart of what the council does, to help people with the cost of living crisis, and to protect and improve local services.

Our top five pledges

We promised to deliver on our top five pledges, and since May we have:

  • Protected our green spaces and declared a climate emergency
  • Agreed additional investment of up to £1.8m to upgrade the borough’s CCTV
  • Started work to deliver six community safety hubs and our ‘Safer Street’ audits with the police
  • Protected your weekly bin collection service
  • Proposed tougher policies on building height for the draft Local Plan, and a 50% strategic target for affordable housing.

Cost of living

We will be bringing proposals to refund the 1% Council tax increase to the council’s Policy & Resources Committee in September.

The recent steep rise in the cost of living is affecting many, with the money in our pockets buying less than it could just 12 months ago. In our first committee meeting we approved a Cost of Living Debt and Financial Vulnerabilities plan to help those in immediate need and to ensure long-term support is made available.

Giving residents a voice in council decisions

We are working to ensure residents are at the heart of what we do.

We have asked you to let us know how you prefer to access council services, voted to bring all Barnet-based Capita services in-house by next September, invited residents to help shape adult social care in Barnet and held a series of inspiring sessions for children and young people aged 11-17 to have their say in the matters that affect their future.

In July, five young people addressed councillors at Hendon Town Hall and gave an opening speech about what matters to them and the importance of taking onboard young people’s views.

Climate change

Addressing climate change was one of the issues they talked about. We all have a role to play in taking us to our target of being a ‘net zero’ council by the end of the decade and a ‘net zero’ borough by 2042.

To date, we have joined the London-wide anti-idling campaign to reduce harmful vehicle emissions and improve air quality; councillors pledged to make one sustainable lifestyle change for Climate Action Week in June; and we have set in motion plans for a Citizens’ Assembly to partner with our communities to tackle climate change on our doorstep that will benefit all. 

Celebrating Barnet’s diversity

One of Barnet’s great strengths is the diversity of its people and communities. We are committed to recognising and celebrating this.

We recently passed a motion calling for Black History Month to be recognised and celebrated every year, with funding to be provided to support community events, and a schools’ programme to be co-designed with pupils, headteachers and the council.

Keeping you informed

As Leader of the Council, I will continue to keep you updated on how we are meeting our commitments.

We are privileged to lead the council and serve you. I am pleased to report in our first 100 days we have already made great progress towards a fun, more inclusive, sustainable place to live where people feel they can achieve their ambitions, and no-one is held back.

This is just the first 100 days of a journey we are taking together to transform our borough and make a better Barnet.

Our top five pledges to Barnet:

  • We will freeze your Council Tax in 2022, refunding you the 1% Council Tax increase imposed in March, and keep it low going forward
  • We will protect and enhance green spaces and declare an immediate climate emergency
  • We will invest in more CCTV, better lighting and community safety hubs
  • We will protect weekly bin collections & bring back the community skips service to tackle fly-tipping
  • We will stand up to developers: we need more affordable family homes not tower-block blight.