As well as interviewing councillor Borella about councillor
Cheryl Bacon’s mishandled meeting, Legal Team Manager Lynn Tyler also
obtained a report from council officer John Adams. His report is neither signed nor
identified in any way but it is clear from the content that the writer must be him.
In my opinion John Adams, who I have come across before, is a jobsworth in the mould of Kevin Fox with a gift for getting people’s backs up which is uncalled for. There are Bexley officers who know how to be pleasant and helpful and the name Dave Easton springs to mind, but any of the doormen deserve a mention too. John Adams is an altogether different kettle of fish.
Mr. Adams shows his devotion to petty officialdom by providing a time for every aspect of the evening in question and states that at 19:10 he entered the Council Chamber and found Nicholas Dowling checking the seating arrangements. It is only a small point but that cannot be true. I catch the same bus to every council meeting and it arrives outside the Civic Centre just after 19:15. I look through the door and if no one I recognise is inside I usually walk on to see if Nicholas and his Bexley Action Group (BAG) colleagues are on their way. The 19th June was no exception and I met all of them on the Highland Road/Broadway corner. They were a little more animated than usual and as we entered the Civic Centre I learned of Nicholas’s plan to audio record the meeting. I confess to being more than a little surprised, shocked even.
We lingered at the doorman’s desk while Mick Barnbrook, who had learned of the plan only a couple of minutes before me, and I think, Nick explained what was in store and that no one would do anything to embarrass the doorman. Quite likely MIck Barnbrook gave him the benefit of his police experience, he often does but definitely the emphasis was on protecting the doorman from criticism and assuring him there was going to be no law breaking. There is no way any of us entered the Council Chamber much before 19:20, certainly not 19:10 as stated by John Adams. A small point but indicative perhaps of his willingness to make things up.
John Adams says that Nicholas Dowling greeted Elwyn Bryant, Michael Barnbrook and myself as we entered the chamber. No John, that is another small fib. Nicholas met Mick and Elwyn when they parked their cars a quarter of a mile away and me in the street outside. As I said, Adams seems to make things up as he goes along.
On the previous evening the doorman had apologised to me for not providing the blogger’s desk and I told him it didn’t matter because I was not keen on being conspicuous. However as Adams was being awkward I decided that two could play that game.
The ‘buggers’ comment was fully reported in June, unlike Bexley council I have no wish to be selective with the truth.
On a point of detail I did not ask for a desk for Elwyn Bryant, he is not entitled to one, and Elwyn sat elsewhere. We are barely into John Adams report and we have three bits of misinformation already.
Mal is Mal Chivers, the Hallkeeper (doorman to you and me) who we spoke to on the way in. I apologised to him for reneging on the agreement (no desk) of the previous evening and explained why. He was his usual cheerful self and it was clear that he fully understood.
John Adams continues lying in similar vein, minor stuff but it helps throw further doubt on the overall veracity of his report. He says that Nicholas, Elwyn, Michael and I all complain about the lack of access to the best seats. Those three did but I certainly did not. By then, on Adams’ own admission, I had been provided with a desk and chair in a prime position already. In any case I couldn’t care less about sitting close to the councillors as unlike Mick and Elwyn, my hearing is still reasonably OK. Additionally they have a tendency to whisper among themselves which is distracting when trying to take notes. There have been recent meetings when the Bexley Action Group members have sat in the best seats while I have chosen a solitary existence in the more remote public gallery. I am afraid Adams was definitely mistaken again.
I cannot comment on much of what John Adams says next because I had my own desk and was doing my best to withdraw from the events soon to come. One thing I do recall is that someone, I forget who, asked for Adam’s name. I remember that the BAG people were in front of me nearer to Adams and I said somewhat flippantly that he was the President of the United States, at which Adams smiled. The problems with the Agenda, if there were any, were not apparent to me as I was sitting elsewhere. (John Adams, 2nd president of USA. 1797-1801.)
PG is Peter Gussman (another member of the Bexley Action Group) and the member of the public who arrives later can only be Danny Hackett, the Labour party member. The BAG foursome, Danny and I were the only non-council people there.
Something that puzzles me about John Adam’s statement is that he says he put out three copies of the presentation (on Sidcup) but all of them want a copy of the presentation. How can that be true? Three of them already had a copy in their hands. Another little John Adams lie presumably. However that is not the end of it…
Why would I (MK) be asking to sit in the reserved area when I am quietly sitting within a handful of feet of councillors at my specially provided desk? John Adams is obviously a total cretin who has lied to the extent he doesn’t any longer know who is who. Presumably his final reference to MK should be ND. Maybe that explains why I was illegally excluded from the reconvened meeting. Maybe John Adams not only plays silly buggars (sic) but he is a silly bugger. And incapable of telling the truth.
I shall return to John Adam’s tomorrow, covering his report on how the meeting progressed after 19:30, and include a copy of his complete report.