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Bonkers Blog April 2015

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5 April - Walking in, taking over and having it both ways

When I met Anna Firth (Erith & Thamesmead Conservative Parliamentary Candidate) I found her easy to get on with and her policies appealed to a lapsed Conservative like me. Unlike her, I try to steer away from provocative statements on Twitter. Too often when I post a comment there I soon regret it. Anna recognised its dangers too and wondered whether it was a productive use of time. Whatever her private view of Twitter might be it has not stopped her being a prolific contributor.

If I have commented on it it’s been on BiB rather than Twitter. In particular that Mrs. Firth possibly over egged her photos of piles of rubbish in the street while apparently believing that no one had ever done that before. Today however I stepped into the Twitter fray with a comment about Anna’s Splash Park petition. I have not as yet regretted it.

TweetsAs you will know, I don’t think Bexley council will take any notice of a petition, the only language they understand is hard cash.

Belvedere’s Labour councillor Daniel Francis has been running around for months seeking a money tree and has had some success. Cory Environmental which runs the Belvedere incinerator is always good for a decent donation - hence the Cory Bridge over the A2016 in Thamesmead - and there have been plenty of hints in the council chamber that another £100,000 or so might be forthcoming. Councillor Sawyer has said often enough that if - and only if - the money is found to save the Splash Park it will be saved.

I have no idea from where Anna Firth thinks she might get more money but maybe it helps to have a husband who is a top banker, and I would not entirely discount Bexley Tories deciding they can afford to save the park and attempting to give Anna the credit.

If Anna Firth can find the money it will be well done her but as has been said many times, petitions, deputations and consultations in Bexley are a complete waste of time, so the posters that have been going up in the local shops are entirely political in nature.

The shopping street shown below is Nuxley Road, Belvedere and prominent is Flynn’s Bakery. It has a copy of Anna Firth’s Conservative poster in its window (Small photo 3) and so does the hairdresser (Photos 1 and 2). It’s not very common for individual shops to support a political party as it risks annoying half their customers. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are removed by Tuesday when the owners realise they have been duped.

The ‘official’ Splash Park campaign poster is shown in Photo 4.

Nuxley Road
Splash Park poster Splash Park poster Splash Park poster Splash Park poster
Before the election countdown started, Teresa Pearce (Erith & Thamesmead Parliamentary Labour candidate) expressed the hope to me that that constituency’s campaign would be a clean one. I suppose that would be too much to ask with Philip Read involved. As a still floating voter I am deeply suspicious of a leading member (until very recently a committee member) of Erith & Thamesmead Tories proposing the Splash Park closure while his chosen Parliamentary Candidate works to keep it open and attempts to take over and divide the residents’ petition.

As yet Anna Firth has not done anything very obvious that might save the Splash Park while, largely unseen it is true, Belvedere Labour councillor Daniel Francis has fought against the “the splash park has got to close” mentality of certain Tories and secured a rethink of the closure proposal and found a few extra quid too. If Anna is the one who finds the money to save it it will be because of an underhand back room deal.


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