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Bonkers Blog May 2014

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13 May (Part 1) - Bexley council’s reputation in the mud again

Puddle PuddleBexley council is to stop employing Ward Security to keep their parks and recreation grounds secure from intruders overnight but Franks Park in Belvedere has its own form of protection, an obstacle course and a moat. If you are taking your toddler to the swings in a buggy then be careful, the worst of the canyons is a foot deep. Wheelchair users shouldn’t even try. Drive there in anything less than a small truck and you might do it serious damage.

There are not many houses in Parkside Road, no more than 30 and although they pay taxes the same as anyone else, Bexley council has not seen fit to provide them with a proper road.

In 2001 a council report said the road was dangerous with holes in excess of 300 millimetres (one foot) deep and a pre-Teresa O’Neill Listening Council, Working for You, filled the potholes, covered everything with roadstone and rolled it flat. But we no longer have a caring council and the one we have has only two concerns, freezing taxes and staying in power which it sees as two sides of the same coin.

Parkside Road BarrierThe following year, 2002, 175 local residents asked for a barrier to be placed at one end of the road to deter traffic from disturbing the new but fragile surface (at a cost of £4,000) but twelve years on the situation is back to square one. Deep potholes that fill with water in wet weather and a dusty surface that blows everywhere when it is dry.

Another petition is being organised but this time to have the road brought up to the standard that almost everyone else enjoys.

An informal council estimate has put the cost at £450,000, less than half what would have been saved over a four year term if Teresa O’Neill had pursued her stated ambition to cut the number of councillors by a third. Almost the same as what would be saved in a single year if senior staff were paid in line with government guidance.

Bexley council is currently stating that the road cannot be adopted because the situation doesn’t meet its criteria but when asked for a copy of the document that defines the criteria they confess to not having one. As always, Bexley council just muddles along jumping in whichever direction suits them at the time.

The new petition is available online and a paper version is being hawked from door to door. Petitions, as long term readers will be well aware, are not usually welcomed by Bexley council and gone are the days when 175 signatures might be enough.

Parkside Road Parkside Road No accessGetting to the minimum requirement of 1,000 signatures is going to be a struggle given the small number of properties on Parkside Road. For it to stand any chance of consideration it requires the support of park users too. Even better might be sponsorship by a councillor but they are otherwise engaged at the moment. A complication is that Parkside Road cuts across a ward boundary. Those representing the Erith end (where the petitioner lives) have been less than helpful so far, perhaps that will change after 22nd May with new councillors in place. There is experience of sponsoring petitions in the Belvedere Labour camp.

Photo No. 4 is the school featured here last December, another case of Bexley council neglect and the final photograph merely illustrates Bexley council’s usual carelessness with street furniture. Traffic lights obstructing disabled access, waste bins in the middle of cycle tracks and here a warning sign obstructing access to the park. Brain cells are in short supply at Bexley council.


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