Picture the scene if you will. The annual meeting of Barnet Council. The chamber is packed. Everyone is smartly turned out (even Councillor Allan Turner is wearing a suit) and the Tory councillors have put on their robes. The mayor is wearing the ceremonial chain and gown. The two gleaming maces are on display.

And then they produce a battered drum painted a particularly vivid shade of yellow. It is a rotating drum, the sort you use for selecting bingo balls. Yes, the council is going to have a lucky dip with the mayor drawing the prizes.

"I'll have the sherry!" shouts Tory Brian Coleman.

No such luck.

This new feature of the council I nearly said gimmick is described as a ballot for ten councillors to propose private members' bills during the coming year.

And ten names were solemnly drawn from the drum. And these ten individuals will be putting forward their pet projects to the council policy conference.

This, of course, mimics what happens in parliament. But given the limited powers of the local councils I feel this new feature is notable mainly for its novelty value. Anyhow, the face of Barnet Council has been changed for ever. The annual meeting voted in the new administrative system. Only a few committees remain and they have names as long as they are obscure. There is, for example, the Street Based Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Inevitably titles as long as this are reduced to a few initials. Well understood by town hall insiders and a complete mystery to everyone else.

Lucky they haven't got a Traffic Withdrawal And Durable Development Link Executive. Think about it.

Notebook considered having a competition for the most originally-named council committees. But almost certainly we would not be able to print the winners.

Although the annual meeting is a fairly solemn, and even hide-bound occasion, standards have slipped. It was the first time that we have been denied seeing the chief executive in traditional gear. Max Caller in gown and a judge's wig was a sight to remember. Barnet's new chief executive, Leo Boland, was wearing a suit, and took no part in the ceremony, leaving it to other officers.

Never mind, if the Tories regain control next year I am confident he will be be-wigged, wearing blue velvet tights and carrying both maces one over each shoulder.