Today was not the best day to ‘house sit’ at a friend’s place to await the
Openreach man due to install fibre broadband this morning. He turned up in the
early afternoon and then I was lumbered with installing a network printer on
every machine on the network. Easy, but very time consuming. Spending a total of
116 minutes on Bexley’s congested roads is not my idea of fun either.
So any chance of a council meeting report today has evaporated but what are these two extra firsts? One is a blog submission from Mr. Barnbrook; he supplies Bonkers with loads of material but this is the first time he has prepared it for publication. And what is the second first? His subject matter. For the first time at a council meeting, Bexley rejected every single question from genuine members of the public and accepted questions only from political stooges.
They’ve been close to it before, two of the previous meeting’s questions came from political plants who could have asked their questions at the bar of their local Conservative club any time they wanted. But that wouldn’t give an opportunity for political grandstanding by a cabinet member. Last time it was Lesnes ward candidates Elizabeth Anderson and Keima Allen licked the cabinet members’ boots. This time it was Conservatives Tosin Femi-Adedayo and Conor Lucking, aided and abetted by Labour hopeful Andy Smith. Let Mick Barnbrook tell you what happened before the meeting had even started…
Intending to complain about the continued use of political plants to exclude public questioning, I approached my ward councillor Katie Perrior before the meeting and asked if she would take up a complaint on my behalf if I wrote to her? She asked me what was my complaint.
I said it was the fact that three council candidates were asking questions in the period set aside for ordinary members of the public thereby denying them the opportunity to engage in the democratic process. She said she would not accept my complaint and when I asked Why? she said “It is of no interest to me”.
I then spoke to a young man and asked him if he was Conor Lucking, a candidate in next year’s election. He said “yes”.
I said why are you asking a question at the meeting when there are other forums open to you to obtain the same information?”. He replied, “Because councillor John Davey asked me to”.
Councillor Philip Read spoke to Miss Tosin Femi-Adedayo before the meeting and again during question time.
As mentioned earlier today, John Kerlen who was sitting immediately behind Miss Femi-Adedayo, has reported the incident and with additional facts and it really ought to be read in conjunction with the above. It is remarkably free of rude words, by Olly’s standards anyway.
Mr. Barnbrook’s rejected question queried the payment of allowances to a councillor who is unable to fulfil her obligations due to ill health; she was not at last night’s meeting. By hiding the fact from the public, depriving them of representation and making payments without justification Teresa O’Neill ought to be guilty of a criminal offence. Maybe she is.
List of Conservative candidates for the 2014 council elections. Four of them, if they manage to get elected, have ensured themselves a warm welcome on Bonkers.