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Bonkers Blog May 2011

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13 May (Part 2) - Newsreel

I have a bit of a backlog of things submitted by contributors so I am going to make a quick summary of a few of them to try to get myself up to date.

James Brokenshire MP

The Conservative Home blog is telling us that James, MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup is no longer the junior minister for anti-social behaviour, he has moved on to Under Secretary for security. So I suppose that means all hope of seeing him take action against the anti-social activities of bent councils has gone for ever; not that he was ever particularly interested in such issues and keeping his nose clean seems to have paid off. As I said before, maybe he has his eye on the Home Secretary’s job. Now he has security in his portfolio maybe he will take an interest in the number of policemen and bouncers Bexley council thinks appropriate to guard their empire from marauding pensioners. Fat chance.

The Notomob

Notomob is being stonewalled by Bexley council with its VCA enquiries.. Councillor Craske has gone to ground - no surprise there - and so has his Parking Manager, Greg Tippett. Apparently they have no answers. My suspicion is that Bexley council will ask the Certification Authority to issue a backdated certificate for its gestapo wagons and declare all is well. Just imagine it if you failed to tax or insure your car for a couple of years and when you are found out said "Sorry, I’ll pay up now". It wouldn’t work for you and it shouldn’t work for them.

NSL managers are no better, in a nutshell they are politely saying “No comment”. With a million pound a year contract (Source : Bexley council’s website) to protect, maybe admitting nothing is to be expected.

Cabinet jobs

Olly Cromwell, he of the linguistically colourful You’ve Been Cromwelled blog, keeps getting leaks, apparently from council sources with some indications they are from councillor Philip Read. Well he is stupid enough. His anonymous source told Olly a few weeks ago that the deputy council leader, Simon Windle, had resigned that position and now Olly’s source is telling him that councillor Campbell has taken on that role. Seems a shame, Simon comes across as almost decent by Bexley council standards but Campbell is a loud bruiser with no scruples. Should make an interesting partnership with that other loud bruiser without scruples, Teresa O’Neill. I suppose the truth will come out at the next council meeting on the 18th.

General Purposes Sub-Committee - 10th May 2011

Village GreenYou always have to be suspicious when a council meeting is held at ten in the morning, it may mean they don’t want anybody to be there to listen; a view reinforced when there are only four agendas available for members of the public to pick up. I was unable to nip along to that meeting to keep myself abreast of any interesting developments councillor Cheryl Bacon, along with fellow members Peter Catterall and Alan Deadman, might be prepared to put on public view.

The Committee was considering a case put forward by a very large number of residents from the Stansted Crescent and Carisbrooke Avenue area area of Albany Park that the wooded open space shown in the photograph should be registered as a village green under the Commons Registration Act of 2006. Many residents had used the space as a playground, a picnic area and a short cut for 30 and some more than 50 years and considered that they had established rights to its use.

Nothing too controversial there then you might think, but that is because no one has told you that Bexley council sold the land to the London and Quadrant Housing Association nearly 15 years ago and no one had told the local residents either. The land carried on being used and maintained in the same old way as if nothing had changed. Council deception or council boob? Cheryl and her two pals may know but I doubt we ever will. They decided it would be best for them if they continued their navel gazing in private. Not exactly upfront with democracy are they?

If I get to hear the result of the Committee’s deliberations I’ll let you know. Maybe one of the local residents will spill some beans? Maybe the answer is 42.

Councillor Sawyer

Remember the not very well known marriage between councillor Sawyer and Priti Patel, MP for Witham? Sawyer’s address was sought from the council and after they displayed some reluctance a request for a copy of the councillor’s electoral nomination form was submitted under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. This notice is much the same as what is pinned up in polling stations so it’s not exactly a state secret. It’s a month since that request went in and photocopying a sheet of paper back and front is not something that should take more than a day or two. There is no sign of the papers for the other councillors which were requested later so that all councillor addresses can be published here the moment Bexley council puts residents addresses on theirs. It looks like Bexley council is dragging its feet once more thinking yet again there is one rule for them and another for those who are fool enough to vote them in.

Mayor Val Clark

The complaints about the mayor for cutting public question time from eleven to 15 minutes at the meeting on 3rd March never has been heard by Bexley’s standards board. It should have been heard on 14th April but the meeting was mysteriously postponed. Since then nada! The problem is of course that its an open and shut case. The mayor is guilty and she is up against video evidence. That is why all recording is now banned and despite what this week’s Bexley Times reports, permission to film cannot be obtained, the mayor has spoken. The longer this drags on the more dishonest Bexley council looks, they should just come clean, admonish the mayor for trashing her beloved Standing Orders and hope the next mayor is not so incompetent. On the other hand I suppose they think any reputation they might have had is shot to pieces anyway and putting just one wrong right will not make any difference; yeah, I suppose they have a point there.


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