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Bonkers Blog October 2014

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14 October (Part 2) - Clarifications and Consultations

I still can’t see anything wrong with what I said last Saturday about the asymmetrical granite bench in Sidcup (and I have not edited it since) but it would appear that I convinced some readers that Bexley council had equipped it with metal studs. The picture shown was no more than an attempt to illustrate a flippant aside. If you want to experience a real Bexley council seat and discover for yourself just how uncomfortable they can be, may I suggest a couple of hours listening to a scrutiny committee and see how wet your trousers get from too close an association with hard impermeable plastic?

Another blog I am supposed to have got wrong was a week ago when reporting the council’s sell off of unwanted land. The News Shopper covered the same subject the next day but neither report specifically mentioned that Erith’s Playhouse Theatre lease was up for grabs.
Land sale
Possibly because it is on his doorstep Hugh Neal provided a more comprehensive report at the weekend and speculated about what might happen next. He is worried about the future of the borough as everyone in Bexley should be. £50 million is a very big black hole to fill. If the cabinet approves the full range of cuts and price increases at this evening’s meeting - and they will - another public consultation will begin tomorrow.

As usual, fewer than 0·2% of residents will respond because most do not care so long as their bins are emptied and the council tax doesn’t go up, and the remainder believe - not without reason - that it will all happen anyway. The former category will be getting an unpleasant surprise this time around.

The second category of respondents will not be surprised to be ignored as for the most part happened following the recent parking consultation.

ParkingCalls for short stay free parking fell on deaf ears although the minimum chargeable time is likely to be reduced from an hour to 30 minutes. Surveys have indicated that 38% of Bexley parking is for fewer than 30 minutes. The cheapest parking in Bexley is 80 pence an hour, in Bromley it is 30 pence.

Unsurprisingly those who are not in favour of Pay-by-Phone are to be ignored too. So with the possible exception of the 30 minute arrangements, all the council’s serious parking proposals are going ahead unchanged. No one ever believed that they might sell them all, and they won’t.


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