The Summer 2010 issue
has just arrived and compared with the other two London council magazines I regularly see
it is far less like a propaganda sheet. Bexleys magazine under the previous
Labour administration seemed to be little more than an ego trip for
councillor Ball with his face peering out from innumerable pages. The current
issue is guilty of no more than peering through rose tinted spectacles. Take the
article (page 4) headed Cheaper rail travel for Bexley residents. It says
that Bexley residents using an Oyster card to travel by train can (save) up to
40% particularly during the off-peak period. No mention that the saving is
made because off-peak travel cards have been withdrawn and evening peak
hour restrictions have been introduced.
Maybe some people do benefit but I know of a young family who no longer get to London as a little treat for the children because it has become far too expensive. And twice Ive heard of an occasional traveller who has loaded her Pay As You Go Card with £20 for a day in London and become marooned when the card has run out of money. It makes me realise what a boon my Freedom Pass is.
Another example of rose tinted spectacles is the feature (page 14) on fencing in Lesnes Abbey Woods which was mentioned on 1st May. Bexley council boasts that it keeps out motorcyclists. As I said, Ive never actually seen any in the woods though I accept that they sometimes visit because I can hear the noise from home. Ill admit to having heard them over recent hot summer days and even seen them heading off, generally sans helmet, in the direction of Lesnes Abbey. So all the indications are that the huge expense of installing the ugly and dangerous barriers has been another abject failure by Bexley council.
Im sure the tall thin man I saw wriggling in sideways through the narrow access point at the foot of Knee Hill would agree that the scheme is totally stupid and does nothing positive apart from line the fencing contractors pocket. It would be interesting to hear what the disabled think about it.