A couple more oddments before the weekend in which I plan to do very little on Bonkers.
Bexley council has ended the month with another Press Release, this time to try to justify its sale of parks. It announces that residents have the whole of the holiday period through to 18th September in which to make a comment.
The object is said to be to sell a tiny proportion of parkland in order to salt away enough money to maintain the remaining parks, otherwise we are going to see grass knee high as Bexley council claims is the case in Greenwich.
Naturally Bexley uses the highest of their various estimates of how much money they have already saved, the £91 million since 2007 one, rather than the £71 million since 2006 I recorded on ‘tape’ at the Resources Scrutiny meeting last March.
It doesn’t really matter what the precise figure is, it’s a lot and Bexley council should not have let the borough get to this state. The leader admitted only a few days ago that she decided not to raise council tax in case the electorate kicked her out for it. She is also keeping very quiet about the role she played in attempting to keep Bexley an obscure and inaccessible backwater. Now, far too late the OBE (Obscure Backwater Enforcer) is going for growth and the money that goes with it.
We are in the mess she helped create and now there is no money left the council says there is no alternative to their plan. Without access to their accounts one can only assume they are probably right. Unless you can think up a scheme that will raise around £20 million, you can kiss Old Farm Park, and all the others, goodbye.
If you participate in the consultation you will be asked to comment on alternatives of the council’s choosing. Removal of children’s playgrounds - spiteful or what? - less money spent on other unspecified council services, or a big, but again unspecified, council tax increase. I think you can safely say that if you don't want parks to be sold few alternatives are offered and you will be voting blind. In other words, a typical Bexley consultation. Very little point in taking part.
Well the critical web page worked. After initially answering a question I hadn’t asked instead of explaining why they had broken the contract, and then when I complained a third and fourth time, not responding at all to my question, I sent Scottish Power a link to their very own Bonkers’ web page. They didn’t like that!
At 09:27 this morning they phoned me. Apologies, promises to send the responsible customer care assistants for retraining, financial compensation, and a promise that I can move to another supplier without penalty.
A result! But I am still not going to remove their web page.