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Bonkers Blog July 2014

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28 July (Part 1) - ‘Challenging budget outlook’. Challenging consultation

Bexley council is fond of consultations, it is also pretty good at getting the answers it hopes for too.

This website was started in part because a consultation about my nearest main road, the B213, went to people living some way away but not to those living alongside it. It happens too often to be a mistake and when the response rate is well under 1% - typically 600 people across the borough, it is taken as an endorsement if the council wants something - like cuts - but as a statistical anomaly if a bigger vote goes for a Gallions Reach bridge. If two pesky pensioners rustle up more than 2,000 signatures in a petition, it’s panic until Kevin Fox invents a new lie to justify not even looking at it!

I’ve heard local Labour councillors refer to Bexley’s democratic deficit several times recently, I’m not sure exactly what they have in mind but it is all around us.

Page 7 of the Bexley magazine (Summer 2014) carries news of yet another consultation and a few readers BiB have taken a look. None were impressed and one put it down to his lack of skill with a computer.

I had a look too and was confronted by this…
You Choose
Mind boggling isn’t it? I’m not totally stupid when it comes to computers and I can see what the general idea is but do I feel inclined to use it? No. And do I have the time? Absolutely not, and I never have been any good at computer games if that is what it is.

Things like this are disenfranchising half the population. Over in Newham they do everything on the web too. How’s my 94 year old maiden aunt living alone with no council help whatsoever supposed to cope?

It’s all very well them issuing free residents’ visitor parking permits to those who don’t own a car but when she walked to the Town Hall to get some she was told she couldn’t do that any more. “Go upstairs to use the free computer”. What? Three floors with no lift at age 94! Thank you Sir Robin Bloody Wales.

Ok, so I have impersonated her on the web and set up a Newham account but it’s not really acceptable. I’m half a mind to get their Social Services to spend some of their saving on looking after an old lady instead of me adding to the pollution at Blackwall Tunnel every few days.

If it wasn’t for Teresa O’Neill and her ’we are in favour of more crossings but we got Boris to cancel the only one on offer’ my aunt would only be three and a half miles away. A bridge to Rainham isn’t going to be much good.

Note: For technical reasons the image above may require a browser refresh (F5 on Windows) to force an undistorted display.


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