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Bonkers Blog June 2015

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9 June (Part 1) - BiB. Quiet but not dead

After two consecutive days of Bexley Blanks it may be time to prove that BiB has not gone away, as someone on Twitter suggested it could do.

SouthEastern Railways
For the past four weeks I have been taking almost daily trips to East Ham, by SouthEastern, Docklands Light Railway, District Line, with occasional diversions via the Jubilee Line or a bus. I think I now see why people complain about SouthEastern so much.

Whilst the DLR runs like clockwork, the Jubilee never kept me waiting for more than two minutes, and the District Line was almost as good - there was one unexplained 15 minute wait - SouthEastern is almost never on time.

It is true that the ten minute interval service sometimes masks the problem and late running can occasionally be beneficial when the DLR arrives in Woolwich just after a train to Abbey Wood is due, but passengers wishing to travel to Dartford, Crayford or Barnehurst with only a 30 minute service may be less forgiving.

Today I saw the 13:23 train leave Abbey Wood and didn’t bother to run for it and I was still on the platform 30 minutes and three scheduled trains later. There was no relevant announcements but constant apologies for the late running of trains heading in the opposite direction. Maybe it is time for TfL to take over as they did on several suburban lines north of the river just ten days ago. On the other hand Overground services are infrequent compared to what is timetabled on the North Kent line and Overground routings are far simpler.

The Brown Bin Tax
Now that the council’s publicity machine is in full swing alerting residents to the new charging regime, Twitter, Streetlife and probably other social media outlets have come alive with those expressing their shock and outrage. I think it proves that most people take no notice of what councils get up to until it hits them in the pocket. The bin tax was forecast here almost a year ago and initially reported last October.

The council has said that almost 500 people signed up to have their garden waste removed in the first week of June, it might have been one more but when I went to sign up I found the council insisted I go through far more red tape than is necessary. email address, password etc. I’ll try the telephone tomorrow. We could do without a system like Newham’s.

I wonder if they will refuse to collect anything at all from an address where the fee has been paid for the removal of 240 litres of waste if the lid is not shut tightly? It’s what they do now but in a few months time the contract should ensure that only the excess is left behind.

Borough Boundaries
It has become apparent that what councillors are saying to residents who enquire about how the Boundaries Commission review may affect the number of councillors in Bexley is quite different to what councillors have been whispering into my ear. I suspect one is just whitewash for public consumption and one is not.

Police Corruption
Last weekend was exactly three years since Elwyn Bryant and I wrote to Commissioner Hogan-Howe about Bexley police’s initial refusal to investigate a crime (ultimately traced to councillor Peter Craske’s phone line) and the unacceptable delays when forced to do so. It seemed like a good time to remind him that his answer is still outstanding and a succession of letters apologising for doing nothing is not really good enough.


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