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Bonkers Blog March 2011

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9 March (Part 3) - Go compare 3

I was in Newham yesterday and had the opportunity to read their local newspapers and the council’s fortnightly magazine. I am always on the lookout for things that Bexley does better than their counterparts across the river and I found something! Newham has just introduced a single wheelie-bin for plastic and tins; a far better arrangement than Bexley’s flimsy boxes which crack in cold weather. However Newham suffered a serious breakdown of good taste; their new bins are green with luminous orange lids. These things are intrinsically ugly but why make them glow brighter than the purple pygmy? One up to Bexley!

On the negative side there is yet more evidence of Bexley’s wanton inefficiency. You will know that TLC is pushing up the cost of a Residents’ Parking Permit to £100 and a visitor’s ticket to £1.50 because the liar says Bexley’s Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) run at a loss. Across the river, as part of their cuts package they have confirmed that residents won’t have to pay to park in a CPZ because the scheme is self-financing. They have looked at the 30 pence they charge for a visitor’s ticket and have decided that it isn’t fair for car owner to get free parking while a household with no car has to stump up 30 pence for a visitor; so from April non-car households will be given 30 free visitor’s tickets. How about that then? A council does not have to be comprised of cheap crooks after all.

I suspect that will involve serious IT systems to regulate properly, Bexley’s system can’t cope with keeping track of paid tickets let alone a ration of free ones.

Another thing that demonstrates how Bexley must be leeching cash down a black-hole somewhere is that every Newham child of primary and infant school age becomes entitled to free school dinners. Whether that is good or bad is not for me with no children to say, but I would love to know what Bexley is doing on the financial side that leads to nothing but grief for residents.

Another thing their fortnightly magazine claimed is that to prepare, print and issue 26 copies a year to every household costs £500,000. I suspect a Freedom of Information request will soon discover how much Bexley manages to spend on propaganda here.


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