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Bonkers Blog September 2011

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23 September (Part 1) - The absolutely not listening council. (Working to line their own pockets) - Click image for photo gallery (1 image)

Petitioners at Bexley Civic OfficesI was spoilt for choice yesterday. Photographing Bexley council inspecting someone’s back garden or taking photos of the petitioners outside the Civic Offices where a News Shopper reporter had asked to meet them. I chose the former and will provide an update later today. Meanwhile both the News Shopper and the Bexley Times has splashed the petitioners’ activities all over their websites. They are on the This is London site too.

The petition was the brainchild of Elwyn Bryant, the man who arranged the inspection of Bexley council’s Register of Members’ Interests with the Head of Members’ Services, Chris Loynes, and hours later found himself (and me) libelled on Google blogspot.

Elwyn’s petition was “We appeal to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Teresa O’Neill, to support her Government and do the right thing by urgently taking the appropriate steps to revise all Contracts of Employment of staff at Bexley Council to ensure that no individual’s salary package exceeds £100,000.00 as recommended by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government.”

A couple of days ago a journalist asked Bexley council to comment and was told that there was no way the council would entertain a petition claiming it offended against their standing orders. Elwyn is well versed in Bexley council’s slippery ways and knew it was inevitable that Bexley council would reject the petition. Councillor Sybil Camsey (Brampton ward) had already jumped the gun by saying it was “not worth the paper it is written on” and “no one will take any notice” and that “I don’t care”. That Bexley council doesn’t care is not news. One, two or three thousand signatures will never be enough to derail their gravy train. That is well known; the game with Bexley council is to watch them make another ill-considered anti-democratic reputation damaging excuse. And they never let us down.

This time they jumped straight in and said they cannot discuss individual salaries. No one asked them to. What people want to hear is an adult discussion about Bexley’s defiance of government policy.

Bexley council claims the example salaries provided to signatories are inaccurate. Presumably they have forgotten it was the council that provided the numbers or just maybe they are lying again. They also told the press that the petition is “misleading”. In what way they fail to say but it cannot be as misleading as claiming the cheapest parking in SE London when it is dearer than any of its neighbours. They also claim to be “transparent”. So voting to defy every one of the Secretary of State’s recommendations on open government is transparent? Only in Teresa O’Neill’s dream world.


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