Money for old rope
Bexley council’s Head of Committee Services has confirmed in writing that there is nothing in its Constitution that requires a councillor to reply or otherwise respond to any enquiry or question from a member of the public whether from his own ward or not. Recent experience suggests they take full advantage of their licence to do nothing.
However the Head of Committee Services accepts that councillors should abide by the terms of The Code of Conduct issued by the Standards Board for England, one of their ten principles being “Openness – members should be as open as possible about their actions and those of their authority, and should be prepared to give reasons for those actions.” Maybe that goes some way to counter the lack of a Constitutional requirement. Unfortunately Bexley council’s Standards Board is unfairly constituted, politically biased more than the representation of the two parties would justify, and has a track record of making up flimsy excuses or even inventing untruthful ones when caught in a tight spot.
The obscene blog
It has become apparent that James Brokenshire MP, despite being generally sympathetic and helpful with attempts to get Bexleyheath police to behave in an honest and responsible manner, had not actually read Bexley’s blog until recently and having done so was suitably disgusted. He said he would write to Detective Superintendent Stringer again. From this I deduce that James Brokenshire is not one of the three or four visitors to this website with House of Commons addresses who are seen most days.
In a separate and unexpected move Chief Superintendent Stringer accepted a request for the whole of the file relating to Bexley's libellous hate crime against myself and Elwyn Bryant to be released. It probably counts for nothing as he will have passed that buck to someone else, but advice is that closed case papers must be released on request. I will not be holding my breath on that one.
When Bexley council was asked under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act “How many criminal investigations are currently being investigated or have been investigated in the last six months against Bexley Council by the Metropolitan Police?” they managed to reply almost immediately. They do not know.
Bexley the new Richmond?
On the 11th May the News Shopper carried an article by the much missed reporter Linda Piper suggesting that the NoToMob’s Nigel Wise who proved Richmond Council operated its CCTV cars illegally was on the trail of Bexley council too. If you think that is a story that fizzled out then you would be wrong. Nigel has a meeting scheduled with Bexley council’s parking manager Tina Brooks on Friday 28th. I’m sure he will let us know how he gets on before too long. I’m expecting today’s Bexley Chronicle to have something to say about this but as yet I’ve not been able to get hold of a copy. When I do this entry may be augmented.
PS. Bob Griffiths the Editor of The Chronicle series of newspapers has put a front page article in all his newspapers about Nigel Wise’s activities. My information is that Bob took an active part in helping Nigel and met council officials who attempted to pull the wool over his eyes.
The anonymous messaging made possible by the new Contact form is both useful and extremely frustrating. Anonymity doesn’t allow a simple ‘thank you’ to be sent and it doesn't allow any reason to be given for not using a comment. Most often this is because it has been used already, but it feels impolite not to be able to acknowledge the intended assistance. But there it is; as long as its users understand the situation.
Rubbish recycling - Click image for photo gallery
Whilst Bexley’s record on recycling is on the whole good, nothing is perfect. The picture (taken yesterday) is of my nearest recycling centre and shows the paper bin now approaching four weeks without being emptied. Last time this happened Serge Poulo who was looking after such things at the time told me there was a dispute between the council and the contractor, the latter apparently claiming that the paper was badly contaminated. Mr. Poulo seemed to think that couldn’t possibly be true but as a regular observer of the bins I knew he was wrong. Some people put anything through the large opening, not only plastic, polystyrene and tins, but also broken furniture.
After Mr. Poulo moved on I was never able to get his successor to reply to email so I gave up reporting problems. Mr. Poulo must be a popular man, for some unexplained reason ‘Serge Poulo’ is a regular Google search bringing visitors to the Bonkers site. Not as frequent as ‘Chris Loynes’ or ‘Eva Read’, but close.