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Bonkers Blog April 2013

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6 April - The lights are out at Bexley council too

A regular correspondent drives around Bexley every day as part of his job and as a result he is a good source of oddments of information. He has been telling me of his concern for the way NSL parking weasels bike around town with their ticketing machine swinging from a lanyard hung around their necks. He wonders what might happen to it in the event of an accident. I can perhaps provide a clue. In the road accident I mentioned on 2nd of April a sat nav flew off the windscreen and punched its own Tom Tom shaped hole in a side window. The sat nav survived but the car did not. Nevertheless I thought that without a photograph the NSL story wasn’t something I could use here, even as a lighthearted piece for the weekend.

Police vanThen at about 10:15 this morning I spotted an enforcement officer sitting on his scooter in a residents’ parking bay opposite Lesnes Abbey. He was fiddling with his machine and then just as I walked by he dropped it against his chest and off he went without so much as a glance over his shoulder as he pulled out in front of a car which was just a little too close for comfort.

The same correspondent says that he has more than once found himself behind the pictured police van and according to him the above door brake light hasn’t been working for ages. I hope he wasn’t driving when he took this photo on his mobile phone.

Another correspondent with too much time on his hands suggested I look at the message headers of emails sent by Bexley council. So I did and found another Cromwellism. Here’s an extract…

Received: from unknown (HELO (
by with (DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA encrypted) SMTP; 4 Apr 2013 14:03:04 -0000
Received-SPF: pass ( SPF record at designates as permitted sender)

This will of course only be amusing to those with a similar sense of humour to the blogger known as Olly Cromwell. It is rather suggestive of Bexley’s performance and I am surprised that they allow it.

What is perhaps far more typical of Bexley council is the fact that my test message was sent on 4th April but the out of office response was…

“I am on leave and will not be in the office until Monday 18th March, for any queries please contact Lorraine King for Complaints and Ola Sunmonu for FOI.”

That’s nice and helpful isn’t it? I email on 4th April and I’m told that the person concerned is on leave until three weeks ago. Then I am asked to contact two other people for whom no email address is given. Bexley council ‘Working for you’ in the way they always do.


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