Ever since Eric Pickles announced that councils would be
obliged to assist
bloggers and the like to report council meetings, relevant forums and newspaper comment
columns have buzzed with excitement from those who expect to be able to walk in to
Bexley’s Civic Offices with a camera slung around their neck. But nothing is as
simple as that. Pickles has an established track record of saying all the right
things but never following them through. It won’t be any different this time
around. He may have issued a press release including…
…but in Bexley he has a crazy council to contend with. No; worse then crazy, that might describe Barnet (†) and their policies, but at least they allow cameras into their chamber. Bexley is more criminal than crazy and I don’t just mean the rumours circulating about councillor Peter Craske. Don’t forget how our former leader Ian Clement went on the rampage with a council credit card and Teresa O’Neill refused to report him to the police. Craske, if he is a criminal, won’t be the first to be protected by Teresa O’Neill and her cronies.
Since Pickles’ announcement I have heard the full gamut of intentions on cameras and future council meetings. Some assume they can just walk in with their zoom lenses and others have sought official permission. I have aimed low asking only that I should be allowed to take wide-angle scene setting shots before a meeting begins. As yet I have had no reply but others have. The salient part is…
Pretty much the same old diatribe from the self-serving suspected criminals and perjurers who run Bexley council.
As well as requesting the use of a camera before meetings I also asked that they reserve me a seat as they have done in the past for newspaper journalists. That will be a harder one for Bexley council to dodge, but they will no doubt try.
† Other Barnet blogs are available. The Barnet Eye. Broken Barnet.