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Bonkers Blog November 2010

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28 November - Roadshows, Code shows and poisonous toad shows

Following my enquiry about the cancellation of The Central Library Roadshow on Thursday the council’s communications officer Mr. Ferry rang to say it was cancelled “because it was felt a lot of people might turn up” and went on to say that the overpaid duo would prefer to meet individuals more casually. You couldn’t make it up could you? They would prefer to engage almost by accident as it were, with maybe a flustered mother doing her shopping accompanied by a fractious child and with other things on her mind, than an audience who have prepared themselves with more probing questions. Considering the calibre of Bexley’s senior staff and councillors I can understand their preference. “Listening to you” but only if you’ve nothing to say.

I have received an acknowledgement to my complaint to the local Standards Board about councillor Craske’s abuse of a resident at the council meeting on 17th November. In disregard of official guidance Bexley council has rigged their board in favour of councillors and additionally excludes public scrutiny. It’s democracy Bexley style again. Those who have trodden this path before say I should assume that the board meets in a lap dancing club, drinks on council expenses, makes racist jokes and rubber-stamps the complaints with ‘rejected’ and that way I won’t be disappointed. But I don’t see it that way. It is a win-win situation. Craske went out of his way to humiliate a resident asking a question that had been accepted by the council while the useless chairman, Mayor Val Clark did nothing to prevent it. There was a public audience in excess of 20, nine of whom I have managed to track down who will confirm the incident. It is probably recorded in the News Shopper’s reporter’s notebook too and it is an open and shut case of abuse in contravention of the Code of Conduct. If Craske is found to be innocent I have further evidence of Bexley council corruption and if Craske’s behaviour is found to have broken the Code it is another black mark on his record. Win win!

It’s hard to get away from the council’s principal villain, he has been writing to more residents about the flawed arithmetic used to justify the near tripling by next year of parking permit prices. Another Craske letter that has come my way claims two other complaining residents, one of whom has featured in the News Shopper, agree with him. Why does the idiot think a resident who may never have heard of Nicholas Dowling (the man named in the newspaper) is going to be impressed by the claimed agreement especially when it’s only the bit we all agree on, that the CPZs should be cost neutral? Nicholas has now been sent a copy of that letter and he, being more of an accountant than I am, says it gives yet more indications of false accounting. One paragraph makes it clear that “the parking accounts do not represent the full cost of on street parking”. Should the auditors be told? I don’t think we have heard the last of this.


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