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Bonkers Blog December 2010

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11 December - Bexley council caught lying again

The News Shopper’s website today returns to the case of a resident who was accused by Bexley council of fraudulently claiming the single person’s discount on her council tax. They did so because they tricked her into a lie detector test (Voice Risk Analysis, V.R.A.) conducted by telephone and decided on that flimsy evidence that she was not living alone. Now, rather belatedly and after causing a great deal of stress to the lady they have accepted they were wrong. According to the Shopper the government department that recommended the system dropped it but Bexley council carried on using it for assessing the single person’s discount. Now a “council spokeswoman” has apparently said that “Bexley dropped the use of V.R.A. in August”.

Someone at Bexley council is telling porkies again. There were cases of V.R.A. abuse reported in the News Shopper on 13th October and 10th November and as if that isn’t sufficient confirmation that V.R.A. wasn’t dropped in August, I heard the system defended at the council meeting last month.

Councillor Campbell stood up to say that V.R.A. was working well despite the bad publicity. Campbell is the man whose idea of integrity and transparency is to sack a whistleblower who reported paedophilia and drug dealing in his department. Incredible that someone should subject residents to lie detectors, tolerate criminality within his own empire (the police charged his manager but Campbell has yet to take action) and then terminate the employment of those who seek to expose it. But maybe not so incredible for a council driven by greed and known for its incompetence, mismanagement and dishonesty.


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