She lagged behind
councillors Peter Craske and
in being featured on Bonkers but councillor Katie Perrior was keen to
elbow her way in. She had become fairly high profile by running Boris Johnson’s
successful election campaign in 2008 through the Public Relations company that she owns.
Katie Perrior was handed the job of Bexley’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services which deteriorated to such an extent while she was in charge that OFSTED rated Bexley Inadequate. Children were put at risk. The senior manager at the head of the department remains in her position under the patronage of council leader Teresa O’Neill OBE (Orphaned Babies Endangered) but Katie Perrior left the council in 2014. Even now, by almost every measure, Bexley remains the worst performing borough in London for Children’s Services. Councillor Philip Read struggles to put it right.
Early in 2011 a storm blew up because Bexley councillors were discovered holding meetings (there were two) in the Flackley Ash Hotel. If a hotel venue was essential there was a perfectly good one next door to their offices.
Before the News Shopper changed direction Bexley had two fearless local newspapers. The now defunct Bexley Chronicle did not hold back on its criticism of Bexley council and was not impressed by council meetings in posh hotels.
Katie Perrior was one of several councillors who reacted badly to its reports. She claimed that councillors had paid out of their own pockets. It would have been more honest to say that she did not claim subsistence while being put up at taxpayer’s expense.
Ms. Perrior’s letter to The Chronicle’s editor said he had facts wrong. She said she’d paid for the hotel herself (despite the bill clearly showing it went to Bexley council) and the all expenses paid weekend away was hard on her because as a poor penniless mother she could not afford it. She was not rich she bleated and without her councillor’s allowance she would be out of pocket and could not survive.
Her allowance at the time was £22,615 on top of which she claimed childcare.
The truth was always likely to be very different and last Wednesday Katie Perrior appeared on BBC TV to reveal all - for a fee no doubt.
She is on £100,000 a year and shops in Waitrose as her interview inside Sidcup’s branch reveals.
Bexley’s schools are not good enough for Katie. I wonder what Cabinet Member for Education John Fuller thinks of that.