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Bonkers Blog February 2013

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1 February (Part 1) - Parking fines. Exposing Bexley’s dishonesty. (Episode 13)

Two weeks ago we left the retired policeman who had won an admission from Bexley council that their parking appeals procedure is, or at least was, a worthless sham, appealing to the Information Commissioner about the council’s refusal to tell him anything about the investigation into his complaint supposedly conducted by Deputy Monitoring Officer Chris Loynes.
Not in Public Interest
After the customary six and half month’s delay during which Bexley council continued to argue that secrecy was paramount it agreed to let the complainant read the file under its supervision.

In late October 2011, ten months and eleven days after making the initial Freedom of Information request Mr. Grosvenor who was at the time the unfortunate individual fronting Bexley council’s various FOI deceptions turned up with a file at the ex-policeman’s home. It contained nothing but a couple of emails and a hand written note. Neither Mr. Grosvenor nor the complainant could decipher it. A letter of complaint went in; the main theme of which was that in any genuine investigation there would be statements by the various council employees who, it had already been acknowledged, had made false statements from the outset; and finally a report by Mr. Loynes with his signature attached. There was nothing remotely like that in the file.

Almost a year to the day from the initial FOI request Mr. Grosvenor wrote that there were simply no more documents available. Clearly Mr. Loynes’ investigation into the complaint was the sham his bosses would have asked him to produce.

A further letter was sent to Chief Executive, Will Tuckley. It set out the logical course of events when asked to conduct an investigation, the procedure presumably culled from years of experience as a police officer, and demonstrated that Mr. Loynes had done none of those things. The letter referred also to the promises made by Bexley council in their publicly available complaints leaflets. Mr. Loynes had overlooked those too.

What would 250,000 pounds’ worth of executive brain power have to say about that? Nothing sensible or helpful obviously.

This story is reported in an indeterminate number of episodes. A cumulative version is provided for convenience.


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