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Bonkers Blog November 2015

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22 November (Part 1) - News and rants from the past week

There have been several bits and pieces that have cropped up in the past week that don’t in themselves warrant a blog entry but maybe some of them might be either amusing or just possibly, even informative.

First a warning; the subject matter goes increasingly off topic!

Broadway regeneration. Phase II
The western end of Broadway is getting a makeover. The official start date was 10th August but it slipped a fortnight. Now Bexley council doesn’t seem to be sure when it is due for completion. The signs disagree.

Counting from the 24th we are currently 13 weeks in.

The work is to be interrupted for Christmas on 12th December and on all my visits I have not seen the traffic other than busy but not seriously delayed.

All these pictures taken 19th November. Previous pictures.
Broadway Broadway Broadway Broadway

The fate of the food bins
Bins Councillor Craske says only ten food caddies have been reported broken. I have news for him. I have seen more than that number just by walking around locally with my eyes open.

Those pictured here were victims of Storm Barney on Tuesday evening.

My old brown bin was removed a week ago; it had lain on its side in the street for exactly ten weeks. Early on Friday morning I mowed my next door neighbour’s front lawn and trimmed his hedge, and managed to half fill my own bin which was in danger of going unused.

TweetHe came to his door to thank me and say that his bin had been stolen. It transpired he had absolutely no idea of the new arrangements. Obviously not a Bonkers reader.

Bexley council has recently announced that they are about to make a concerted effort to pick up their ‘orphaned’ brown bins. What an unholy mess the whole operation has been.

Bins Bins Bins Bins

Parking. One rule for them
Parking It was made very clear at a recent Places Scrutiny meeting that body overhang wasn’t penalized at parking bays, it was the wheels that counted. I wondered how that might apply to drop down kerbs.

I found out last week. The wheel of the red car was just clear of the drop down but the body overhang wasn't. (Photo 1 below.) The CEO told me it was definitely an offence and to be fair the drive owner in a narrow road would have found it difficult to get out.

Whether the PCN stayed within its torn plastic bag until the end of a very windy day is open to question.

What the motorist should have done is park on the pavement with a Bexley staff badge on the windscreen. (Photos 3 and 4.)

Parking Parking Parking Parking

Lesnes Abbey
Lesnes Abbey continues to receive the dubious attentions of Bexley council, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The new path scars the landscape, rocks are stockpiled into an easily accessible compound. The woodland paths are churned into bogs and the fossil bed has gained some sort of hardcore platform.
Lesnes Lesnes Lesnes Lesnes

St. Anne’s Pre-School
FacebookSt. Anne’s Pre-School is upset with Bexley council. Join the club.

Click image for source Facebook page.

Water meters
Water Water WaterJust when you had begun to get used to the sight of abandoned brown plastic right across the borough, along comes Thames Water aided and abetted by Bexley council dumping blue plastic and further reducing the space available for car parking.

When we are using less water through monitoring our water usage, Thames Water will simply raise the prices to restore their profits to former levels.

Will Tuckley at Tower Hamlets
If you are missing Will, see how he is getting along here.

I doubt he is missing Bexley and the constant need to lie in defence of councillors. There is currently no new news from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The journalist who wrote that newspaper account is fully aware of the allegations and evidence against Will Tuckley.

I have always been extremely careful with my email address, or more precisely email addresses. With full access to my own mail server, if I have to leave an email address with an organisation I don’t know, I make up a new address and delete it when there is no further use for it.

If the email contact is to be ongoing I set up a memorable address for that company or organisation. The result is that I am generally spam free and when the company’s database is hacked, it’s happened to me three times now, only a throw away email account is compromised which can be deleted and replaced.

Any spam email that arrives will be to an address that identifies which company or organisation has been hacked.

For my rare emails to Bexley council I have always used an email address starting bexleycouncil@. Over the last few weeks it has been receiving lots of spam email to that address. In theory only the recipients at Bexley council knew about it. Maybe Bexley council’s mail server has been hacked, or possibly the spam is malicious. You cannot trust anyone in that place.

It’s not councillors who are responsible, I use two different addresses when contacting them.

The bexleycouncil@ address has been deleted. If I need to contact them again I will make up a different one

Southeastern Railway
Track maintenanceI came to the conclusion after several more Crossrail photo sorties to Abbey Wood station that my suggestion that you cannot be there for more than 15 minutes without hearing an apology for late running or worse was unduly generous so I looked up their current late running statistics.

After excusing everything fewer than five minutes late, which after all the inbuilt station waiting time and deliberately missing stations, can only be statistical cheating pure and simple, Southeastern’s most recent punctuality record (September 2015) is as follow…

• North Kent line (Slade Green to Abbey Wood). 83·84%
• Bexleyheath line. 86·34%
• Sidcup line. 84·33%

CrossrailIt’s time for the fortnightly Crossrail update. There’s a new set of photos taken in and around Abbey Wood station and a small number taken on the line down to Belvedere. There would have been more but all those taken from a train have been wrecked by dirty windows and reflections.

There are no spectacular developments around the station but compare the superficially similar pictures and you will see that things are progressing steadily towards opening the new London bound platform.

How the OBE could report that Felixstowe Road is back to normal is beyond belief. Never travels north of the Bexleyheath railway line presumably.

First Aid training in schools
This is a definitely off topic for Bexley is Bonkers, it's not something that Bexley council could influence; but what sort of heartless monster talks out Teresa Pearce’s Bill to enforce first aid training in schools?

BillThe low life MP responsible is Philip Davies who represents Shipley; what did they do to deserve him? A Tory of course.

‘Your Interests, Not Self Interest’ is his slogan. What a bastard.

Sainsbury’s Abbey Wood. One bloody awful shop
From slightly off topic to off the scale but I’m sick of Sainsbury’s in Abbey Wood.

BogsIt’s my nearest supermarket and I wouldn’t use it except that the nonagenarian aunt in East Ham insists that I stock her freezer with Sainsbury’s ready meals. Her local supermarket was Sainsbury’s and old habits die hard now she cannot get there unaided.

Often - no always - there is one item from her shopping list that Abbey Wood doesn’t have. I suppose it’s because they are getting so few customers that they have to cut down on stock. You certainly have to watch their sell by dates.

Since Asda opened in Belvedere I have never used anything but a self service till and the same goes for Sainsbury’s. Both have become a pain now that they keep asking if you have brought your own bag but at least Asda’s moves on once the question is answered.

Not so Sainsbury’s. Put the plastic bag in the bagging area and it is too light to register. It doesn’t like that and doesn’t seem to believe you’ve brought your own bag. Last Thursday I had to walk back into the shop to swap over the box of chocolates that is usually on the list. The box was quite badly damaged.

When I got back to the till - there was nobody else around so I left the other stuff there - the machine had timed out. The assistant pretended not to notice so I just took the stuff out of the machine’s out tray and started a new transaction at the adjacent machine. The first till complained I was stealing goods without paying. The assistant still took no notice.

When I had finished and paid, the machine told me that I had saved 49 pence compared to Asda which I knew was a lie. There were only two items that weren’t Sainsbury’s own label. The chocolates and a £1.49 magazine and I’m pretty sure Asda doesn’t bump up the cover price to £1.98.

49pThe chocolates I know for a fact were £4 at the Beckton branch of Sainsbury’s a week ago. £6 in Abbey Wood! Next day I checked the price in Asda, maybe they were asking £6.49. But no, £3 was their price. Sainsbury’s price comparison is total fiction.

It’s the same with my gluten free bread. Sainsbury’s is exactly 50% dearer than Asda.

Don’t use their coffee shop either. I met a friend in there about a month ago. The queue consisted of one lady who was at the till paying for her cakes and having her coffee poured. So just seconds to wait presumably. No way. My friend and I didn’t time the delay but we both agreed that we must have waited about 15 minutes for the dozy girl to work out how to use the coffee machine. And mine was completely cold. Never again.

And then there is the toilets. Nothing is perfect and occasionally things will go wrong but don’t tell customers to use the Disabled Toilet when it cannot be seen from the corridor where the other toilets are sited. (It’s in a recess around the corner.) An arrow might have been helpful.

No wonder the place is always close to empty.


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