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Bonkers Blog December 2011

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4 December - Oddments

With Bexley council’s website inexplicably down all weekend (first report to me timed at 11:42 3rd December) I cannot tell you what it may be saying about councillor Gareth Bacon’s latest recycling initiative, but it probably includes the rewards scheme introduced in Thamesmead to encourage more recycling from flats and ‘high rises’ which pose particular collection problems. has the details but the scheme was devised by a company called Green Rewards. At Companies House, Green Rewards is reported to be in a certain amount of trouble and slated to be struck off the register. Its accounts are long overdue and director David Bacon has recently left the company. It’s a little reminiscent of councillor Craske linking Bexley council with another company with a dubious past for his Pay by Phone scheme.

My dustbins were emptied in the usual efficient manner this week and at the scheduled time despite the public sector strikes. Presumably Serco staff are above such things. However the schools did not fare so well. The day before the strike Bexley council forecast that only 28 of its 76 schools were at risk of closure but in the event 40 were shut completely and another 21 partially closed. Doesn’t say much for Bexley’s forward planning. The Bexley Times reported that councillor Chris Ball said that workers on the average wage (not much over £2,000 a month) would have to pay up to an extra £210 from that sum in increased pension contributions. Can that really be true? Did I not read that pensions contributions might go up by 3%? That’s about the same as existing pensioners are losing on their life savings through being forced to subsidise cheap mortgages for those still in work. Chris Ball appears not to believe in ‘We are all in this together’ which may explain why he and all other councillors are in favour of paying managers at Bexley council many times the average wage. The council shovels more than £3,000 into Chief Executive Will Tuckley’s pension pot every month and rather more to pay for his predecessor who retired sick but got another similar job immediately afterwards.

On 13th December Bexley council plans to publicly discuss the pay of public sector workers. Details are thin on the ground but there is no indication that the agenda will not be confined to low level workers. 2,200 signatures say that would not be a good idea.


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