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Bonkers Blog January 2014

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Sadiq Khan

15 January (Part 2) - Bexley council. Spiteful and vindictive? You bet

Dropped kerbIf you thought councillor Peter Craske’s petty act of spite, reprised yesterday, was a one off you would be sadly mistaken. He was still the boss when a Belvedere man asked if his dropped kerb could be moved along slightly. His was awkwardly misaligned with his driveway as shown in the picture.

Ordinarily you might expect this to be a costly exercise but the whole road and its footpaths were being dug up due to planned maintenance. Every single kerb stone was to be pulled up and replaced with new ones. Moving the whole of a footpath crossover a foot or two further south would not be difficult. Any reasonable council, any reasonable man in charge, would nod that through. What difference does it make so far as costs are concerned, whether a reconstructed crossover is in the right place or a silly place?

Needless to say, Bexley council refused the request. They wanted to charge the occupier £900 to correct the historical positioning error. He decided it wasn’t worth it and the opportunity to correct this problem with what was at the time Peter Craske’s Public Realm was missed.

Next time you see one of Bexley’s contractors digging up the road alongside a sign proclaiming ‘Highway Improvement’ remember that might not be what it is about at all. They may be messing a resident around because they can. Could Lord Acton have had Bexley in mind when he said “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

Wheel trackingObviously Bexley’s road planners have no real idea about anything very much. Even when they are not in full-on spite mode they never allow for the way a vehicle’s rear wheels track a different arc when turning. If they did they might not be so keen on making them so narrow. But it’s Bexley so these things are to be expected.

These dropped kerb examples cases remind me of my time working for Post Office Telephones in 1963. A council house resident asked if the pole that carried the overhead line to his home could be moved to improve his view. He was happy to pay. The GPO asked the council for permission which was refused. Time went by and the council got in contact again with a request to move the pole after all. Their instructions were carried out to the letter and a pole was erected about three feet from the house slap bang in the middle of the lounge window.

Apparently the council house occupier had voiced his displeasure at the council’s refusal to allow the pole to be moved to a more acceptable position and the council exacted its revenge. Couldn’t have been Peter Craske, he wasn’t even born at the time.

But this could be Craske’s work…

BollardsIn Fairfield Road Bexleyheath it looks like Bexley council has fallen out with another resident. What else would explain a load of dropped kerbs and footpath crossovers, with one solitary house decorated with bollards to prevent entry to a paved front garden.

Like the News Shopper printed five years ago, “[Bexley council,] taken over by a mob of nasty, evil people who seem to thrive on other people’s pain and hurt”.

I suppose the bollards come from the same sort of mindset that causes a council leader to march up to the police station demanding they arrest bloggers who won’t stop criticising them and when that fails, manufacture a cock and bull story that will see one of them behind bars.

Original blog.

 

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