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Bonkers Blog October 2011

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16 October (Part 2) - Bexley hits the less well off. (50 pence extra for rowing in the park)

Bexley family in Lesnes Abbey ParkThe statistics show that the biggest visitors to this website are the communications companies because as you would expect, all their customers are lumped together and counted as one source, but behind them you get the large companies with their own net facilities. Highest among those are newspapers; quite some way above “The Houses of Parliament”, so it was pleasing but not perhaps surprising to get a call from The Sunday Times last week. Bexley, they said, was just about the worst council in the country for sneaking in price rises to help keep the Will Tuckleys and Katie Perriors of this world in the manner to which they have become accustomed. Could the Bonkers team expand on the information they had collected from councils and could anyone be persuaded to be interviewed to give the story some local colour?

We aim to please, so off went the Strategy 2014 document and the complete list of sneaky price increases to the journalist Cal Flyn. Today’s Sunday Times carries the story on page 5. The picture is from the ST and is of Bonkers reader Coralie Skelton in Lesnes Abbey Park.

Commenting for the ST is housing minister Grant Shapps. He speaks of “lazy councils” and recommends that “local authorities should cut out excessive chief executive pay”. Now isn’t that exactly what my petitioning friends have been saying? And do I need to repeat that Bexley in full on ‘Listening to you, working for you’ mode has already announced that it will stick its fingers firmly in its ears when the petition is eventually presented? A helpful councillor has already said that if forced into a debate Bexley council will sit in total silence with their arms folded and refuse to say anything at all. Well let them. Maybe I will have a word with a few friendly journalists when they do.

The “50 pence extra for rowing in the park” is taken from the Sunday Times article. The ST is not available on the web without subscription.


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