Before moving on to Agenda item 11 of last week’s council meeting it may be worth covering the final seconds
of Item 10. Councillor Daniel Francis complained that he was denied the
opportunity of commenting on staff recruitment at both the Resources and the
People Scrutiny committees. Councillor Steven Hall said he would speak to
councillor Francis after the meeting.
Councillor Danny Hackett complained that a CCTV contract was to be placed very soon but there was no opportunity to scrutinise it until well into 2015. Deputy council leader Gareth Bacon said with all the gravity you would expect of someone who takes £100,000 a year give or take from the public purse, that councillor Hackett was “talking cobblers”. He was unable to explain why. And so we moved on to the delicate subject of lining councillors’ pockets with gold.
Expenses; the final item on last week’s council meeting agenda are dear to most Bexley councillors’ hearts. Their new 2014/2015 rates were up for approval (discussion is unwanted) and the opportunity to vote the million pound bill down has to be hurriedly brushed aside.
Jack in the Box D’Amiral immediately sprang up to move that the new Expenses schedule was approved and Little Sir Echo Smith stood to eagerly agree but a new and recently invigorated Labour opposition had other ideas, they had another Motion up their sleeve.
Their point was that council leader Teresa O’Neill has attempted to please her cronies, many of whom wanted her replaced by Gareth Bacon, with an additional nice little earner. Six new paid positions in the shape of two vice chairmen for each Scrutiny Committee. Posts which Bexley council has not seen before but allow another £20,000 to flow into Tory pockets.
Tories may argue that the new allowances were paid for by the reduction in the number of scrutiny chairman following their attack on democracy after the last election but there was absolutely no need to hand the money out again. Everyone else suffers cuts, why not Conservative councillors?
The result of the vote was inevitable as you can see below.
100% of Conservatives are in favour of more troughing. Funnily enough the sum is exactly the same as the cost of running the Belvedere Splash Park.
One of the slightly odd things about the meeting was that Chief Executive Will Tuckley wasn’t sitting on the top table in his wig. Maybe that is because he was forced to admit that he is not Bexley’s head of legal and his wig was nothing but fancy dress.
Here endeth reports on last week’s full council meeting.