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Bonkers Blog March 2014

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6 March (Part 1) - Council tax freeze approved

Campbell O'NeillWhat a difference four (almost) years make. When I first attended council meetings they were an utter shambles. Conservative councillors would be aiming personal insults at Labour councillors, Labour councillors scoring political points, Peter Craske being incredibly rude to members of the public, mayor Val Clark picking fights with members of the public who did not cheer her every word and councillor John Davey being John Davey. Rather a lot of councillors were dressed like tramps too.

Now we have a a mayor who never puts a foot wrong and seems to be a well adjusted human being and councillors, who judged on last night’s performance anyway, are all one might wish for in a well run council. Viewed from their respective political positions, leader Teresa O’Neill put over a good account of her achievements with deputy Colin Campbell following suit and Labour councillors made a decent job of picking holes in them. In particular the massive price hikes coupled with reduced services which the Conservatives are so proud of. The Conservatives, both councillors of cabinet rank and below, made polite and valid comments, and John Davey put in a sterling performance as the village idiot.

If Bexley Conservatives had not built their council on so many lies I might be tempted to fall back into my old Conservative ways and overlook Teresa O’Neill’s Gordon Brown style stealth taxes and her abuse, well Chris Taylor’s abuse, of low paid workers. Even during her address to the council yesterday evening she managed to slip in one massive lie. “Bexley is a low tax authority.” Oh no it isn’t. When next year’s tax league table is produced Bexley is unlikely to be any better than in 24th position among the 32 London boroughs. Why that is could be debated at length and councillor Munir Malik made a pretty good, interesting anyway, stab at it yesterday but that, like a lot of other things, is going to have to wait for analysis of the recording. That little box of tricks, not to mention Nicholas Dowling’s broken dictaphone, has probably done more to improve Bexley council’s public image than their Standards Board ever has. The lying Cheryl Bacon has been struck dumb.

The Labour contingent made no attempt to put forward an alternative budget strategy, how could they realistically, and voted against freezing the tax. It’s a superficial view of what is happening in the borough but the Conservatives will be making merry with that on your doorstep soon. While they are there ask them why they find it impossible to be honest.


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