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Bonkers Blog January 2013

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22 January (Part 2) - A protocol is not a policy it is an operational matter

Bexley council has a fantastic track record for pulling some ‘clever’ stunt and seeing it escalate out of control - and I am very grateful to them.

Their harassment charges eventually led to a councillor being exposed as a liar in court. Their obscene blog resulted in 20 months of bad publicity and another dozen or so to come - to say nothing of the trashing nationwide of reputations.

Kevin FoxKevin Fox decided to flout government policy by banning photography before as well as during council meetings - the former he admits is permissible under Bexley’s Protocols. Human Resources supremo Nick Hollier’s defence of Foxy put him in the Bonkers’ firing line and thanks to Mick Barnbrook’s persistence I can take pleasure in once again exposing Hollier’s crimes against democracy. Not for the first time he has been redefining the English language.

Two years ago when the number of awkward questions to a crooked council were rising they changed the rules in several ways to attempt to eradicate questioning. Among their anti-democratic decisions was one which said that any resident asking a question of council must have his address posted on Bexley council’s website. Councillors who ask questions are exempted from the ruling and in recent months eleven of them have gone further by abusing the Localism Bill and removing all reference to their addresses. No real surprise, crooks and liars will exploit every loophole.

The situation in Bexley now is that residents are only allowed to ask questions related to policy. Perhaps I should have said the situation in Bexley was… for it would seem that things are about to change.

Disgraced mayorMick Barnbrook asked the council to explain its policy of potentially exposing residents to risk by having their addresses published on the web. Our disgraced Mayor said it wasn’t a policy question and rejected the question. A complaint elicited a response from the infamous dictionary and thesaurus mangling Kevin Fox that a Protocol was not a policy. Kevin Fox is nobody’s friend so Mick was happy to make a formal complaint about Fox’s word twisting. His complaint has been answered by another of Bexley council’s manipulative jobsworths and Nick Hollier has wriggled as only a Bexley official bent on hiding secrets can.

Mr. Hollier has carefully explained that once a policy is adopted by council it becomes a Protocol but the implementation of Protocols is a matter for day to day operations and operational matters are exempted by Protocol from questioning at council. Is this man for real? By that definition no questions to the council whatsoever are permitted. Neat. Bexley council has got its way. No questions for a bent council to answer. Surely there is a job somewhere for Mr. Hollier devising tax dodging scams and the like. He has no shortage of ideas on getting around the law.

Hollier's response
I think managerial staff would be better employed chasing the office crumpet like in the old days. It does rather less harm, unless they are married of course.


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