I used to write a blog on the Hendon Times much like this. Following pressure from the ruling Tories on Barnet Council, this was stopped in October 2008. I was told that Brian Coleman crowed "We've seen the last of him". I started the Barnet Eye blog. Today I was reminded why I didn't "F*** off and die" as a certain councillor hoped. There is a massive scandal concerning the finances of the future shape program. This has been compounded by pressure from the executive to ignore a report by Grant Thornton auditors. I copied the local press, who have websites into the correspondence, so that they could broadcast what is clearly a matter of public importance. To date they haven't bothered to say a dickybird. If they do now, it is too late for the meeting of the audit committee which is going on as I write this. I could despair. I would despair but for two things. The magnificent support of the readers of this blog, growing all the time, here's the stats for the last three months. As you can see, with 10 days of the month to go, the stats just keep on rising month on month.
Generally there is a decline in circulation and readership of the traditional local papers. As they are free, most of the people in Barnet still see them on a weekly basis, wheras you have to choose to look at this blog. I'm not having a go at the journalists on these papers. They do their best and I am not having a go at them, but it is time for the editors to get out of their comfort zones, start campaigning, start taking risks and start serving the people of Barnet. Three years ago, this blog didn't exist. Now look how many people read it. This isn't because I'm a genius or even a good writer. It's because their is a fierce interest in these issues.
Thanks for your support. I do this in my spare time, which is why I can't cover all of the things I'd like to. This is why I can't attend things like the audit committee tonight (had to attend a meeting for my sons school transfer). I apologise for the fact I can't. It is time that the people of Barnet started getting the service they'd like from the people who's job it is to provide it, rather than from people like me. I hope these stats might get the editors thinking about the fact that they are actually missing a huge opportunity to grow their readerships. What is undeniable is that in three years, this blog has grown from nothing to a very respectable figure, for something which mostly just covers the shenanigan of our local masters. Just imagine what the figures would be like if I could cover sport, arts, local news, restaurants. Anyway, must go, got a studio to run.