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Bonkers Blog November 2012

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25 November (Part 2) - Bexley council. Driving residents mad

Erith Town HallBuried away on this website is the story of an eccentric and vulnerable old man who in 2009 was so frustrated by Bexley council that he burned his own house down. It’s still on the News Shopper’s website too. This poor old man was accused by Bexley councillor Melvin Seymour of intimidation and the court gave him an ASBO. But that wasn’t the end of the matter.

The old man had asked Bexley council for help to protect his home against vandals and yobs 81 times. He got no help but Bexley council wasn’t slow to prosecute him for benefit fraud instead. Barrister David Martin-Sperry took up the retired builder’s case and thanks to him a jury acquitted the old man in just 20 minutes. The Daily Telegraph’s web pages still carries a report on the matter.

Burning property out of desperation at Bexley council’s inaction is more common than you might think. A year earlier someone set light to the contents of a filing cabinet at Erith Town Hall. I thought it might be interesting to find out why and I went to see the man who did it last week. Sure enough he proved not to be a pyromaniac but a man driven to the end of his tether by the incompetence and intransigence of Bexley council.

I doubt I will be able to report his story in any great detail because it also involves a firm of solicitors - not local - and you know how litigious they can be if you tread on their toes. However there are a few documents that reflect badly on Bexley council. I expect they will get an airing before long.

 

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