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Bonkers Blog January 2010

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31 January - Bexley is Bonkers tops search engine rankings - click any image for photo gallery (2 images)

Google YahooIt has taken fewer than four months for this site to become the first choice at both Google and Yahoo for searches for ‘Bexley council’. Top that is apart from the council’s own site which is almost certainly top because they use your money to buy that position. Being placed directly beneath the council’s own site means that everyone who Googles for Bexley council has the opportunity to see what a useless bunch of incompetent petty dictators they are. The high ranking presumably explains the steadily rising number of contacts being made. One thing that strikes me about the contacts, sometimes consisting of no more than a handful of words of encouragement, but occasionally including documents and photos, is the almost universal disdain for cretinous Craske, the so called Cabinet Member for Transport, the post that rakes in more than £20k a year in expenses alone.

My labelling of him an obnoxious little twerp seems to have gone down particularly well although in the interest of fairness I must report that someone objected on the grounds that I had failed to provide evidence that he was little. That may well be true although I might claim it was a reference to his intellect. But if that excuse is not accepted I shall have to refer to a publicity shot of all the Conservative councillors standing in a group in which Craske’s presence is not immediately obvious. However a pair of eyes peer over the shoulder of the second shortest woman in the front row and they look as though they could belong to the face that never tires of getting itself into the pages of the News Shopper.

 

30 January - It’s official. Bexley cancels bank holiday

I made an almost unbelievable blog entry on 17 January which said that Bexley council threatened to prosecute a resident for not paying his council tax installment due on 1st January 2010 until the banks re-opened on the 4th. You’d think it was one of those damn-fool mistakes and errors of judgment for which the borough is famed, but apparently it’s not that simple. Their response to a complaint says they will graciously restore the installment plan which the original letter summarily withdrew but they still insist that payments must be made on the first of the month even when it falls on a bank holiday (or, by implication a weekend) and that if it isn’t prosecution will surely follow. I was expecting an apology for the mistake but there is no sign of one, they simply cannot get their thick heads around how silly this makes them look. I have documented a bit more detail on a new council tax page and I think the perpetrator of this ridiculous piece of idiocy, one Miss L. Cairns, deserves the honour of a listing on the Bexley Hall of Shame, don’t you?

 

29 January - Green wheelie bin not emptied again!

I rarely produce much rubbish, don’t know why, maybe it’s because I’m not an enthusiastic shopper so don’t accumulate all that useless cellophane and plastic but it seems to lead directly to my bin not being emptied. There were only three Tesco bags of rubbish nestling at the bottom of my green bin this morning and one of those was only half full. Although the bin was placed alongside those of two neighbours, mine alone wasn’t emptied, though the bin had been moved. My guess is that a Tesco bag at the bottom of a bin is beyond arm’s reach and it’s not worth taking a near empty bin to the lorry and engaging the hydraulic lift; so they take a leaf out of the useless councillor Davey’s book and walk idly by as he does whenever he sees a problem or one is reported to him.

A missed collection doesn’t matter much to me though it’s galling that the only useful service Bexley council provides for my £1,500 a year is the refuse collection and it makes me wonder how many bins are missed. The last failure at my address was as recently as last November so failures are two out of six collections. 33%!

 

28 January - It must be kill a pedestrian month - click any image for photo gallery (2 images)

Near Carrill Way Near Fossington RoadIf you read the Woolwich Road or Penhill Road reports you will see that Bexley council witters on about protecting pedestrians crossing roads which is all very laudable except that their incompetence leads to unforeseen consequences - consequences that their meagre intelligence can’t predict anyway. In Abbey Road their attempts to do the same is resulting in pedestrian injury because the central refuges bring them to within inches of traffic that can only just squeeze by on what carriageway remains after they spent half a million pounds of our money on turning a previously safe road into an accident black spot.

But implementing stupid plans is not enough for Bexley council, they have to implement them badly. Here is the scene in Abbey Road three months after the contractor supposedly finished the job. Unlit pedestrian refuges. So much for Bexley’s vacuous claims to be making things safer for pedestrians. The first of the photographs is at the junction with Carrill Way where there isn’t even an electricity supply and the second by Fossington Road where the danger is compounded by the fact that the nearby street light hasn’t worked all year. Your caring listening council! What a joke; they’d rather risk your life than get off their fat arses.

 

26 January - Bexley council sends in the fuzz - click any image for photo gallery (3 images)

Tory newssheet Police CCTV unitLesnes Abbey Conservatives poked their latest newssheet through my letterbox today. It doesn’t really say much, full of trite platitudes which steer a careful non-controversial course designed not to upset too many people and try to convince us that Conservatives spend our money more wisely than the last administration - which shouldn’t have been too be difficult. Naturally it glosses over the fact that Bexley’s taxes have still been rising faster than elsewhere in London. One bit did catch my eye however and that is that the big-spending Tories have thrown money at the Metropolitan Police so they can go around spying on the populace where no fixed C.C.T.V. cameras operate.

Presumably that explains why a police van was parked outside my house for much of the afternoon of 7th January. It was marked with the words ‘Police C.C.T.V.’ and that it was working for Bexley council. Goodness knows what they were expecting to find. It parked at the end of a cul-de-sac where nothing happens all day long once the postman has come and gone and being a cul-de-sac there are few homes to be looked at. The only trouble we ever see is the occasional yob who takes a short cut across a neighbour’s garden, hops the fence and sometimes damages it in the process. It makes the journey to Abbey Wood station a bit shorter. However my neighbour already has the fence under 24/7 C.C.T.V. recording so if the police were taking an interest it was a bit of a waste of time and money. And surely there must be higher priorities for the police than parking in a quiet cul-de-sac looking out for a minor misdemeanour that might happen twice a week or less?

You can see the police snoopercam above the driver’s position. At one time there were two vans, even just one of them being enough to totally block access to the drives and parking spaces of nine dwellings. But when did the police or Bexley council ever care about legal niceties?

 

25 January - Bexley council calms the traffic again - click any image for photo gallery (2 images)

car crash car crashIt’s not only Abbey Road that has had accidents engineered into it by the arrogant, undemocratic and incompetent Bexley council. A traffic calming exercise - putting obstacles in the way of motorists may be a more accurate description - immediately resulted in accidents in nearby Woolwich Road.

 

18 January (Part 2) - Head on collision in Abbey Road, Belvedere

Our once near accident free B213 has suffered yet another smash up. I don’t know the reason but I have seen the remains of a Ford Focus and the debris on the road. I can imagine that the morons responsible for making so many changes to Abbey Road are already planning humps, more chicanes and 20 m.p.h. speed limits when they should be looking into mirrors for the culprits and resigning.

A consultant at the world renowned Transport Research Laboratories told me he regarded the plan for Abbey Road as a recipe for head on collisions. Barmy Bashford of bonkers Bexley council was sure he knew better when in reality he is a clueless wonder. He probably expects the world to beat a path to his door seeking advice and be chosen to chair safety meetings in Brussels as it does for those who really do know better.

 

18 January (Part 1) - Local health services under a Labour government

I have just failed by a few weeks to get through two thirds of a century without being rushed into hospital by ambulance feeling very unwell indeed. My destination was Q.E. Hospital, Woolwich and what a murderous outfit that is! Presumably other Bexley residents suffer a similar fate daily. I’ve no complaint about the medical staff but what sort of administration can have you on drips and morphine for three hours and fifty five minutes but as their four hour target looms disconnects the lot and dumps you back in the waiting area with no money to get home, no one available to get you home and lets you lie collapsed on the floor unattended and in desperate need of more pain killers? Full report.

 

17 January - Your caring listening council strikes again

Today I received documents to confirm something I first heard about a week ago. The specific case involves a couple of pensionable age who like many of us were due to make their last council tax payment of the current financial year on 1st January. As almost everyone must know, 1st January is a bank holiday and this year it fell on a Friday. It does not take a lot of intelligence to work out that business life was not likely to start again until Monday 4th January and on that day the final tax instalment was paid. On the very same day Bexley council sent the couple a letter saying no payment had been received by the 4th of the month and as a result the agreement to pay monthly had been cancelled. Payment in full was demanded by the 14th on pain of court action and costs of £95.

Whilst the arrival of this letter must have come as a shock to someone who had paid promptly and not had any previous communication on the subject it was nothing like as offensive as one I received in 2007 but it remains completely unforgiving for a first letter. What if a lack of payment has been caused by death? How insensitive can the imbeciles who run Bexley council be?

It is my understanding that local taxation is contracted to the company popularly known as Crapita and I’m not sure why we are expected to deal with such a shower. We don’t have to write to Serco (the current waste contractor) when our bins get missed or to the electricity company when street or traffic lights fail. However the couple have replied to Capita’s Erith address and in due course we may see what excuse they come up with.

 

13 January - Non-job of the week

The Taxpayer’s Alliance has once again singled out Bexley Council for their ‘biggest bunch of money wasting idiots’ award. Their first of 2010. It seems Bexley wants to recruit a biodiversity charlatan. I do wonder what sort of graduate would be attracted to a post paying only £15k a year. I know things are hard on the employment front but surely the best candidates would be looking for something better than that? Perhaps the final salary index linked pension is the attraction - remember those? Or maybe it goes some way to explain why Bexley council operates so inefficiently. Could it be monkey and peanut syndrome? But let’s not be too negative, Bexley council has won an award! Well done the innumerable profligate clowns who run Bexley and who are intent on pushing up our taxes relentlessly. More.

 

10 January - God help Sidcup

The local news media has been reporting that the obnoxious little twerp, Craske, is planning to spend £1.8 million on traffic improvements for Sidcup. These plans include a reduction in the number of traffic lights. Councillor Peter Craske (cabinet member for transport), as far as we can tell, has no qualifications whatever in road design or safety and has a track record of gullibly accepting everything his incompetent staff put in front of him for signature; the changes to Abbey Road, Belvedere being a recent example. If Craske does for Sidcup what he has done for lower Belvedere then look forward to a year of traffic chaos followed by regular accidents.

I rarely go to Sidcup any more but I do get a report from someone who drives through it twice daily and it claims the situation is much improved after some of the earlier council idiocies were removed, such as the traffic lights it was so keen on in the first place. When, around ten years ago, Bexley council (under an equally stupid Labour administration) first decided to interfere with traffic flow in Sidcup I took my Transport Research Laboratory consultant friend around town for his verdict. I remember his response well. He said “whoever did this was either malicious or incompetent”. I have been able to quote that to a number of Sidcup residents over the years and without exception they have come back to say the verdict was wrong. Those Sidcup residents thought that Bexley council’s road planning department was “malicious and incompetent”. All the evidence points that way.

 

7 January - Unintended consequences

The only possible justification for the council’s vandalising of Abbey Road in Belvedere was that cyclists would be safer, albeit at the expense of pedestrian safety, motorists who have since suffered far more accidents and residents who complain about the predicted increase in damage to their parked cars and property. However in the current icy conditions it seems that even the cyclists are put at extra risk. Their path is covered with ice and the road is clear so naturally they use that. But the road is ten feet narrower than it was so they are at even greater risk from motorists contending with the poor conditions than they were before.

 

6 January - More snow but Bexley manages to keep a road clear

An inch of snow fell overnight and unlike last month’s two snowfalls when untouched roads were left to develop into ice rinks, Bexley council managed to get its gritters out. At 7am the B213 from Abbey Wood to Erith was entirely free of snow and ice.

 

1 January - Let’s start the year with a bang! - click any image for photo gallery (4 images)

Car crashed through wall Car crashed through wallYet another road accident in Abbey Road. Reports are that a driver lost control at the bend opposite Elstree Gardens, missed the people waiting at the bus stop and ran away from the scene. What caused the accident is unknown; probably the lack of gritting didn’t help and presumably the police will be investigating. However we do know that a Transport Research Laboratory consultant said the plan to narrow Abbey Road was a recipe for collisions and that Andrew Bashford, the road planning clown who takes pride in making Bexley’s roads difficult for motorists, was aware of the likely consequences. We also know that our cretinous transport supremo, councillor Peter Craske, approved the plan and took no notice at all of any of the wise words of dissent from residents. And we also know that the local ward councillor John Davey thought that the plan was without justification but decided to do what he is does best; standing idly by doing nothing at all. We can only take consolation in the fact that so far no one has been killed by their total lack of common sense and that there is to be an election soon.

 

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