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Bonkers Blog May 2014

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3 May - Public questions for council

After Chris Attard, UKIP's Lesnes candidate had his question to Bexley council rejected on the grounds it was considered to be “unfair on the present administration” I was surprised to see Mr. Ndubuisi Ezenwata step up to the podium last Wednesday evening. Surprised because Mr. Ezenwata is Labour’s candidate in Thamesmead. However the two situations are rather different. Whilst Chris’s question might show that Bexley council puts political expediency before children’s lives, Mr. Ezenwata’s question provided an opportunity for council leader Teresa O’Neill to humiliate him.

His question was…

Could the Leader please tell us what the impact of the so called Bedroom Tax has been on the Borough over the past year in terms of freeing up larger properties for families?

O'NeillThe leader lumbered to her feet and said “For transparency purposes I ought to point out because I know it has been raised before as we are actually in purdah that Mr. Ezenwata is actually a Labour candidate in Thamesmead East. Mr. Ezenwata I have to tell you that there is no such thing as a bedroom tax” and with that she sat down again.

It’s true that there is strictly and legally “no such thing as a bedroom tax” but there surely is such a thing as a “so called bedroom tax” which was Mr. Ezenwata’s question. To publicly snub him in that way was totally unnecessary and if Teresa O’Neill really felt his wording was inappropriate she could have rejected his question as has been done so many times before. But no, the opportunity to be rude to a questioner was too big a temptation to pass up.

The woman is a disgrace on every level.

An answer did become apparent later in the meeting. 310 Bexley householders have moved to smaller properties due to the introduction of the bedroom tax.


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