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Bonkers Blog February 2011

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26 February (Part 2) - Craske’s cash cow was all bull

In November 2009 I added a short piece to the News section of this website criticising councillor Craske for reducing the parking facilities at Sidcup Place and introducing a charge for what was left. I called him an obnoxious dictator and a little runt and got a few complaints for a spelling mistake. Now the subject has been regurgitated and updated in the Bexleyheath Chronicle entitled “Councillors kill off outdoor leisure centre” and quotes our esteemed Leader saying “the car parking (charges presumably) was started at the behest of councillors”. Wrong! The press at the time made it absolutely clear that it was Craske’s idea. The Chronicle’s reporter (Jean Gee) says the council spent £90,000 on refurbishing the playground and fenced it in for another £12,800. Then in typical Craske fashion £8,850 was spent on three parking ticket machines and charging commenced in October 2009. There were requests to make the parking free for the first two hours to allow parents to easily take their offspring there for a bit of fun but the runt refused.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request soon afterwards revealed that the parking meters were taking £114 a day but observations showed that didn’t look very likely. A year later another FOI came up with a figure of £180. The reporter was not one to give up. She kept a photo record of the car park and sent it to our incompetent lying council. This time they were forced to admit the true income was less than £40 a day. As The Chronicle says, a total waste of money installing the playground and driving potential users away with parking charges. It will take eight years for Craske to earn the expenditure back by which time the ticket machines will be worn out and the playground will be broken by the teenagers who use it on their way back from school. Well done Craske. What an idiot.

If you want to see Craske and the rest of Bexley’s largely useless shower at work there is a cabinet meeting at The Crook Lodge Civic Centre next Monday at 19:30. You may also get to see why I sometimes refer to Craske as the purple pygmy.


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