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Bonkers Blog February 2011

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2 February - News of the Residents’ Parking Permit saga. The Artful Dodgers are at it again

News of councillor Craske’s dishonest scheme to triple the cost of residents’ parking permits (even though the council’s own website said they were not making a loss fewer than 18 months ago) has gone all quiet so I enquired what might have been happening recently. I’ve obtained a copy of the letter James Brokenshire M.P. sent to the Parking Manager on 6th December and I have seen the letter with which the Parking Manager, Tina Brooks, fobbed him off on 4th January. Mr. Brokenshire had supplied a sheaf of statistics sent to him by one of his constituents and asked “how the significant increases in permit costs is justified” and requested a “response to the points that have been raised”. Presumably he couldn’t see how it was justified or he wouldn’t have asked. Ms. Brooks ignored the request excusing her failure to answer any of the points by claiming “I am unclear as to the sources of some of the data”. It must be hard to write a letter that tells the truth if you work for the liar Craske and you value your job but you would have thought that she would recognise that the source of all statistics on residents’ parking permits can only be the council’s website, its published accounts and the information put out by Craske himself. When carefully analysed it is full of contradictions and loads the costs with expenditure which is in truth not expenditure but their spending of the profits.

As every resident should know, Bexley’s CPZs (Controlled Parking Zones) operate for two hours a day for five days a week whilst standard parking restrictions operate for around ten hours a day for six days a week. So it beggars belief that the price increase is justified by a claim that CPZ operation soaks up 56% of parking admin. costs, 44% of enforcement costs, 50% of computer and IT costs and 64% of accommodation costs.

It is disappointing that the M.P. did not, so far as I know, ask for a proper reply from Ms. Brooks but I suppose a junior minister is a very busy man and challenging the lies perpetrated by Bexley council and Craske in particular would be a full time job. But it is part of how Bexley council gets away with the routine dishonesty and its illegal acts.

For the squeamish who may be upset at me so blatantly labelling Craske a liar I shall repeat that he is the man who claimed in the council’s magazine and on its website that there was a £4m contract with the transport consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff and when questioned about it at a council meeting dodged the question by saying there was no £4m contract. I note the contradiction was picked up and queried by the Chronicle series of newspapers in their January issues. Craske is also the man who insulted a member of the public at a meeting and dodged the standards board investigation by saying there was “a correlation” between his insulting behaviour and what the member of the public had said. Unfortunately for Craske the published minutes of the meeting state otherwise so the complaint against him has gone back to the standards board under the appeals procedure. If necessary it will go to the Standards Board for England. The time when Craske may have been given the benefit of the doubt is long gone. Craske is also responsible for the department that illegally extends yellow lines another case of which has been reported to me today. Maybe lying is the least of his misdemeanors.


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