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Bonkers Blog January 2015

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5 January - Scraping the Bexley barrel

Oh, whoopee, only another three weeks before Bexley cabinet gets back to work. Meanwhile what stories are circulating? Not a lot.

Police feet dragging
It doesn’t really compare with waiting 31 months for a meaningful reply from the police and no sign of an end to it, but the lady who was arrested at Heathrow Airport on an assault charge trumped up by Bexley police has been trying to get hold of a copy of her statement dated 6th June 2014. She is still being ignored.

I am unsure of the rules relating to statements. I am due to be at Plumstead Police Station on Wednesday to sign the transcript of the recording of my interview two months ago. I am not expecting to take a copy, I know what I said and if the transcript looks like what I remember saying that will be good enough for me, but maybe I will ask what the law says about it.

StreetlifeI only look at Streetlife when the flow of Bexley council related news dries up. It was from there that I discovered that the butcher’s shop on Broadway closed just before Christmas. There were initially comments to the effect that Bexley council were in some way behind its demise but if they were it was probably only indirectly.

The new road layout will not have helped, neither the additional parking restrictions, but butcher’s shops are in trouble everywhere. The massive Asda store opposite cannot have done the Meat Market any good.

There are no butcher’s shops left in Bexleyheath.

Meat Market Meat Market Meat MarketI may not be the best judge of such things as I avoid them as much as possible but Bexleyheath seems to be overloaded with supermarkets. Two branches of Asda, an Iceland, a Sainsburys, M&S Food Hall, a Lidl coming soon and a huge Tesco - if it doesn’t get cancelled.

British Meat Markets had been in Bexley for 28 years, the same as I have. Maybe that’s long enough for anyone.

Children’s Services
References to Bexley council’s Sheila Murphy recruiting social workers in the Emerald Isle brought forth a comment from someone with first hand experience of their services. It would appear that my assumption that the Irish social workers may have more sense than ours is ill founded.

Just an extract from a recent email…

The Irish system’s only advantage is that they do not fast track children for adoption. However, long-term fostering can be worse for a child as they are psychologically traumatised every time they are moved between foster carers as happened with my baby son at just one year old.

In our experience, we certainly didn't find the system to be any less corrupt in Ireland. Irish social workers were happy to believe the lies they were fed from the UK. In fact, they built on those lies and presented them in court, hence committing perjury.

Like many UK cases, our evidence was often ignored in court. My deaf wife was unable to hear proceedings and she suffered numerous incidences of disability discrimination. After our son was stolen, the social worker visited once and then didn't visit again for two years. When we realised that legal aid will not challenge the corrupt orthodoxy, we got a McKenzie friend organisation involved. They were not allowed in court.

The McKenzie friend recommended a solicitor who believed in our case and it's only since the appointment of him and his barrister that things have moved forward. Although the social workers are still involved, our son is being returned to us and now they can't do enough to help. However, it's taken two and a half years to get there.

Irish social workers are trained in a similar mindset to their UK counterparts. Truth means nothing in child 'protection. In our case, a web of lies and gossip was spun by one social worker in the UK.

Like a bad case of Chinese whispers, each hand a report passes through tends to get more negativity added. Parents are considered guilty until they prove themselves innocent. The word of social workers however unevidenced or unqualified, is taken as truth by courts.

Cabinet member Philip Read is still busy Tweeting, this time claiming that Bexley is top dog when it comes to getting young adults into employment, however he says this will be a problem for the Labour opposition. Maybe he should remember that not everyone is as mean minded and spiteful as he is. If it is true that Bexley is doing well in one respect, no one will be unhappy about it.

Taking the Metal Mickey
Lesnes AbbeyEveryone must know by now that Bexley council doesn’t consider itself constrained by the law of the land; whether it be blocking bridleways without the necessary permission of the Secretary of State, closing public meetings or refusing FOIs because knowing the truth might adversely affect debate, they don’t much care.

When Bexley does have the law on its side, such as with fly tipping, it is not slow to refer to the relevant Act on the relevant signs, so one must wonder if it has just made up the No Metal Detecting rule on a whim.

If Bexley council was serious about protecting their monument they would have done more to protect it. People trample all over the stonework all day and at night it is a teenager’s playground. Bexley council were so concerned about it they cancelled the Ward Security contract.

For the record in all my 28 years wandering around Lesnes Abbey park and woods I have never seen anyone with a metal detector. Scraping around for sharks’ teeth yes, but treasure trove, never.

A postscript…
Detecting lawA helpful reader has referred me to a website that provides information about metal detecting. Maybe the notice in Lesnes Abbey park would look less amateurish if it referred to the appropriate law.

A reader with official links to the abbey ruins has reported that damage running to thousands of pounds has been caused recently.

The Harrow Inn site
Fence FenceThe Abbey Wood eyesore continues into its sixth year with no sign of any improvement following intervention by Lesnes Abbey ward councillors and their Conservative predecessors.

What passes for a fence is slowly falling down again and Bexley council never has seen fit to repair the gaping hole in the footpath just behind the road sign. Imagine that existing for years elsewhere in the borough, and the Tories claim not to be south-centric.

Pictures taken three weeks apart.

This website
I noticed rather belatedly that the old ‘Photo gallery’ pages which fell into disuse about two years ago when it was replaced by the ‘Click to enlarge’ facility on images, were incompatible with changes introduced to the banner display code. This was fixed over the weekend and at the same time were made Mobile mode compatible.

Progressive changes to default image sizes is making things very complicated. Perhaps Wordpress bloggers have the right idea.


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