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Bonkers Blog December 2010

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4 December - Greed and arrogance

Fat rats

An occasional correspondent has sent me another example of how Bexley council isn’t listening to you and is mainly concerned with working for its own malign purposes. Picking up on Eric Pickles’ (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) assertion that the council “gravy train” must “stop immediately”, he asked our councillors if they would be willing to forgo half of their generous allowances and save taxpayers nearly half a million pounds a year. Only two bothered to reply (Simon Windle and David Hurt) and they didn’t answer the question which says quite a lot about our councillors. They are all desperate to line their own pockets, don’t listen to residents and apart from two are arrogant enough to think such questions can be ignored.

Next Thursday, Eric Pickles’ second in command Baroness Hanham is due to visit Bexley and hold a meeting to further her bosses views. The public has limited admittance (it’s too late to book now) and I hope someone will tell the Baroness that Bexley’s council Leader, Teresa O’Neill believes that Pickles is talking rubbish; for that is what she said at the full council meeting on 17 November, (reported here on the 18th), when questioned about her willingness to implement Pickles’ view of how local government will be run. I cannot be at Thursday’s meeting due to a long-standing prior engagement but you can be sure that a report on whether Baroness Hanham is serious about tackling our local fat cats or whether it is all one big Tory charade and only ordinary folk are expected to suffer will appear here soon afterwards.

Among Mr. Pickles’ comments are that council executive salaries are “ludicrous”. That executives have “fragile egos” and that councils are “lining their pockets with your cash”. O’Neill has repeatedly refused to discuss the matter with anyone. Government seems to have this quaint idea that local councils are comprised of honest individuals with the good of the community in mind. Maybe Baroness Hanham will see the light on Thursday.


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