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Bonkers Blog January 2011

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30 January - Cuts - except for O’Neill’s favoured few

One of the oddest things I’ve seen proposed as part of the council’s cuts programme is that if you plan to use a computer in a library it must be booked in advance and on-line. Surely if you have access to a computer to make the booking you don’t have any need to go to the library to use one? I suppose it’s another tick on a jobsworth’s list and helps distract residents from the real issues. One of those is that councillors are keen to slash and burn so long as it doesn’t hit their own pockets. It’s been reported many times that the council Leader is determined to protect her fat cat staff on £4,000 a week and ignore all the contrary advice from government. I wrote to the minister a month ago drawing attention to the two fingers being raised in his direction by Teresa O’Neill but so far there has been no response. But at least he is big enough and ugly enough to stand his ground if he wanted to, unlike the residents of Bexley’s care homes.

When I get reports of Bexley’s criminal activities in the realms of parking and other non-personal issues they are easy to report in as much detail as I can find but twice this month I have been sent details of Bexley’s abuse of vulnerable residents which are impossible to cover in detail for fear of council retaliation. A few days ago I alluded to the near death of a disabled child in Bexley’s care and the “cheating and lying” (quote from a parent) employed to attempt a cover-up and now I have another report involving social services. A letter to all residents of care homes assures them that the council’s budgetary negotiations with support providers will not “have any significant impact on warden services provided to people in sheltered accommodation”. But one of those wardens has broken cover and given details of what it will mean to them. A 33% pay cut. No cuts for the fat cats but a big one for essential staff! As you might expect, this particular warden cannot afford such a loss of income and has decided to leave. How is it that care home residents are being assured that no changes to services are anticipated? I suppose the only explanation is that Bexley council is once again doing what it does best. Lying and cheating.

 

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