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Bonkers Blog December 2011

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13 December (Part 2) - A few news items

Blue Badges

The News Shopper is reporting that Bexley council is to charge £10, the maximum permitted by law, for a Blue Badge from 1st January 2012. I shall sit on the fence. I know because of my daughter’s multiple sclerosis that people with reduced mobility suffer enormous inconvenience and extra transport costs. I’ve spent two hours with her on London bound trains while she tries to arrange for ‘disabled’ transport to meet her and ends up paying £40 for a taxi because no one answers the phone. For Bexley council to penalise the disabled to the maximum they can is typical of councillors totally unwilling to entertain any cut to their allowances.

On the other hand I have seen my daughter arrange, in her capacity as a journalist and in cooperation with the police, ‘stings’ outside football grounds so that she can write about the huge numbers of people caught abusing the concessions. If the revised arrangements help in that regard it is to the good but the cost of added Blue Badge security would easily be paid for by even a token movement in the direction requested by government, of senior salary levels. So much easier to Hurt the disabled instead.

Petition against excessive salaries

The News Shopper has also covered Elwyn Bryant’s petition against the very high salaries Bexley pays its senior managers. Their reporter, Abigail Woodcock, helpfully reminds us that Lewisham pays their Chief Executive £115, 000 while Bexley pays Will Tuckley one of the highest salaries in the country; well over ’200k. Bexley council has trotted out the same excuse as it did when LBC broadcast news of the petition. The same tripe about responsibilities ranging from “child protection to refuse collection”. Refuse collection is generally good in Bexley because it isn’t directly controlled by Tuckley. Child protection is his responsibility and what do we get? Almost the worst levels of child poverty and reprimands from the Local Government Ombudsman.

Nice photo Elwyn.

Bexley Care Trust

The BBC is reporting that Bexley is one of only nine Health Trusts in the entire country to have not bothered to carry out any health checks at all. It is supposed to carry out routine checks on things like cholesterol levels and blood pressure for over 45s but Bexley has failed yet again. Councillors John Davey (Conservative - Lesnes Abbey) and Eileen Pallen (Conservative - Crayford) are both on nice little earners to mastermind this failure to look after anything but their own pockets.

The District Auditor

Camera carNow that it is out in the open that Bexley council has been operating its CCTV cars illegally we can expect a number of consequences. I wouldn’t like to be in Parking Manager Tina Brooks’ shoes. She has been busy in recent months telling councillors that they have nothing to worry about, all is well. (Please don’t ask how I know.) And now we know nothing is well at all. Notomob has already been in contact with the Audit Commission because Bexley has declared illegally obtained income to the District Auditor. You don’t really need to read Section 17 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 to guess that it’s against the law.

The Bonkers team is proud to have been instrumental in bringing the parking law expertise of Notomob to town. Bexley council’s lying to me in 2009 is and will continue to have consequences. When will they ever learn?

Photo: Bexley’s car KX04 BKR operating illegally outside the Co-op store in Long Lane this morning. (With thanks to a reader from Thamesmead.)

Obscene Blog

The Information Commissioner has told me that my complaint that the Metropolitan Police would not tell me anything at all about their obscene blog investigation, that they probably didn’t make, saying it wasn’t in the public interest has at long last reached the top of his pile and enquiries have commenced. Don’t hold your breath, the Commissioner’s enquiry into Bexley council’s refusal to respond to last May’s Subject Access Request has still not gone very far.


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