Has vacating the run down and tired looking Civic Offices in Broadway in
favour of the prestigious 2 Watling Street had a similar beneficial effect on the people
who occupy it? I am beginning to think so.
There was a planning meeting in the new building last night which had nothing of general interest on the Agenda but I was curious as to how the new council chamber would be laid out so I called in at 19:15 and was away 25 minutes later.
A young man from reception escorted me to the door of the chamber and once inside, a smiling Committee Officer, Mike Summerskill offered a good seat and table for my use. I declined Mike’s kind offer while telling him I didn’t intend to stay long and that I was not going to report on the meeting in any detail. I would take a photograph to try to give an impression of the room layout and that would be it.
A few minutes later I saw the committee chairman Peter Reader heading in my direction but as he was one of the majority of Tories who I do not believe has ever spoken to me I didn’t take a lot of notice. However he addressed me by first name, welcoming me to the meeting with his arm outstretched in greeting. He was totally at ease with me taking a picture or two as he opened the meeting and when I said I would not be staying long, asked if I was going home to watch the football. As you can see my attempt at photography was not terribly successful.
Now this is seriously unnerving stuff. I don’t recall ever having to be particularly negative about councillor Peter Reader (†) but if Tory councillors are going to be friendly in future it will become very difficult to put the boot in should the need ever arise. It’s going to kill off Bonkers.
But having thought about it overnight I’ve come to the conclusion that the blog is not in very great danger. There is a very close correlation between councillors who never speak to me and those I might think are somewhat dodgy. I doubt any of those will ever speak to me, Bexley is spoiled by not many more than a dozen dishonest councillors.
On my way out two very smart people on the reception desk bid me “Good night”; where are they getting all these polite and attractive youngsters from? I never had any complaints about the doormen of old but the newcomers would not be out of place at a posh hotel. I wonder what it is costing us.
I think I’ll only report on future planning meetings if there is something of borough wide interest on the Agenda. If someone is interested in some run-of-the-mill house extension it is reasonable to assume they will turn up in person or watch the webcast. Apart from the impression of a stitch up given over Hill View I’ve not seen anything odd going on at a planning meeting. Peter Reader plays a straight bat and planning officers usually appear to do a decent enough job, so there is rarely anything contentious to report.
† I suppose it is unkind of me to remind readers that it was Peter Reader who spoke against the public being able to record meetings at the Constitutional Review Committee meeting last September?
All sorts of questions get sent to Bonkers; what model of PTZ CCTV camera is in use was one, hence the picture. Maybe someone can ID it.
P.S. I didn’t watch the football. Never have watched football, is there any reason to start now? No? Thought not.