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Bonkers Blog February 2013

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15 February - More readers’ input

Bexley near the bottom
Santander UK plc has published a survey on the best boroughs in which to do business, measuring Enterprise (business start ups, survival etc), Talent (staff qualifications), Connectivity, Costs and Wellbeing. Of the 32 London boroughs, Bexley comes in at a lowly number 27 languishing among those well known bastions of Conservative good management practice such as Waltham Forest (29th), Lewisham (30th), Newham (31st and Barking & Dagenham (32nd).

The Santander corporate website is absolutely horrible to navigate and doesn’t allow a link directly to the most appropriate pages but if you fancy a look I would suggest starting here then navigating via Local News/News/More and scrolling down to ‘Westminster tops London’ to find a bit more background information.

Secondhand tent
ActReaders with intimate knowledge of the law are always welcome so thanks to whoever drew my attention to the council’s legal responsibility for publishing agendas and minutes of meetings.

It was suggested that Mr. Kevin Fox is in breach of the Local Government Act 1985 by failing to post the Supplementary Report (about an unwanted Olympic pavilion, price £1·8m.) along with the Agenda to the Public cabinet meeting held on 28th January 2013. I suspect it is more than likely he simply forgot.

Another eagle eyed reader refers to the unwanted Olympic tent being destined for the grounds of Sidcup & Chislehurst Grammar School and has checked that it last applied for planning permission for a Sports Pavilion in 2003. (Application No. 03/00572/FUL.) Permission expired in 2008. However the second paragraph of that Supplementary Report says that Planning Permission exists. Probably academic, with Teresa O’Neill and Boris Johnson behind it, it will go through.

Data Protection Act
Following the Information Commissioner’s advice that Bexley council’s policy - no, sorry, ‘rule book issue’ - that they will publish the address of anyone who asks it a question, some I hear, are being submitted with a prefix.

I would prefer you did not publish my address as my residency can be easily verified in other ways. I am confident that publishing sensitive personal data serves no useful or fair purpose and placing my personal details on the Internet where they will remain for ever puts me at risk of fraud and identity theft.

If you insist that this detail must be published before my question can be put forward then I request that both you and your Data Controller confirm, in writing, and state unequivocally that Bexley council is fully adhering to all of the principles of the 1998 Data Protection Act.

On receipt of this correspondence I will then consider my options regarding a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner.

As always, I eagerly look forward to the weasel words that will be concocted by Bexley’s dishonest managers to counter that.


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