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Bonkers Blog March 2015

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23 March - It took three years but the penny has finally dropped

The Adsa store in Belvedere has been open for more than 18 months now and would appear to be doing very well, it is nearly always busy and sometimes uncomfortably full. It seems odd now that three years ago opposition to it was being whipped up by a Belvedere councillor. It puzzled me at the time that the local councillor would want to deprive his electors of a supermarket when there was no other close by. I put it down to him being totally out of touch but it now seems that there may have been more to it than that.

The first Bonkers reference to former Conservative councillor for Belvedere, Kerry Allon, being against the building of an Asda on the B&Q site was in November 2011. He presented a petition to council against it.

Three months later planning officers recommended the scheme for approval. The Conservative dominated Planning Committee rejected it and the story made the front page of the News Shopper on 8th February 2012 with both councillors Allon and John Davey being reported as anti.

Later that month it was revealed by the News Shopper that Amit Patel the owner of Belvedere News had organised the petition and 409 people had signed it but it was orchestrated by a rival supermarket. Bexley council doesn’t usually take any notice of petitions, why was this one so special?

Only a month later, with Kerry Allon’s petition discredited, the new store was approved. Why did so many councillors try to get it stopped? I suspect that over the past few days Twitter has provided an answer.

TweetIt reveals that one of Anna Firth’s support team is in Twitter parlance @AmitP327 and his account shows him to be a partner in Belvedere News. The same Amit Patel that Conservative councillor Kerry Allon was so keen to help.

I think I know now why Bexley Conservatives tried so hard to stop Asda opening. Would it be wrong to suggest they were protecting one of their own to the detriment of the wider population?


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