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Bonkers Blog September 2013

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12 September - Minor updates

Parking problems
Ticket machine installation Ticket machineNext week two of the three car parks adjacent to Abbey Wood station will be closed as Crossrail prepares to demolish the 28 year old station and build a temporary replacement. Where commuters cars will be displaced to only time will tell, but Bexley council is intent on more misery for local residents.

The houses near the station are nearly all pre-war and many are entirely without off street parking facilities and compelled to pay the illegally imposed £100 Controlled Parking Zone charges. Bexley council announced it would rob them of more spaces a couple of months ago and yesterday it began the installation of Parking Ticket Machines in Abbey Road.

Residents and commuters will be left to fight over spaces while Bexley council cashes in, either through extra fines or the £3.80 flat rate charge for use of the space. Gradual reduction in the number of residents bays is not confined to the area around Abbey Wood Station, exactly the same has happened around the centre of Bexleyheath where residents who are forced to pay £120 a year for a permit find themselves unable to park because people are shopping seven days a week.

Police FOI response
A Freedom of Information request seeking the time the police received a request from Bexley council to attend the Civic Centre on the evening councillor Cheryl Bacon decided to hold a public meeting in - her words - “Closed Session” was initially rejected because it might reveal personal information. An appeal resulted in a long email - four pages of A4 when printed - saying the same thing. It stated that there is a danger that saying anything at all might reveal who made the call so they confirm their original decision to say nothing.
FOI response
What a load of nonsense. Everyone involved knows who asked for the police to be called and I could tell you the name of the man who made the call - the doorman. The names of all the councillors present is a matter of public record and all the names of every member of the public present can be found in previous blogs. The police, for some reason best known to themselves, are determined not to upset Bexley council by co-operating with a simple request by a critic of Bexley council.

Mick Barnbrook has sent all the correspondence to the Information Commissioner. It is by no means certain they will rule in his favour. When I asked for the date the police made enquiries about Bexley council’s obscene blog, the ICO ruled it wasn’t in the public interest to tell me. Some might agree that was in fact true because it later transpired that the police had lied; they had not made the enquiry at all.

Even if the ICO overrules Bexley police’s FOI officer and asks her to provide an answer, it is not difficult to imagine there will be a quick call to Bexley council to ask them what answer they would like the police to give.

Police SAR request
I didn’t mention it before, but I made a Subject Access Request to the police three months ago. The law says they must respond within 40 working days. I am still waiting. But that is nothing, it is nine months since my complaint about Chief Superintendent Stringer’s failure to investigate Bexley council’s obscene blog was acknowledged by the IPCC. Result? Total silence.


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