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Bonkers Blog September 2015

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22 September (Part 1) - Midas in reverse

Bexley TimesThe Bexley Times, maybe because it doesn’t carry Bexley council advertising or have associations with Bexley council’s website advertisements, is not afraid to occasionally put the boot into Bexley council.

RUBBISH! was its front page verdict on the bin tax fiasco last Thursday and inside it devoted two whole pages to the subject.

Those who have followed the saga closely probably did not learn a lot that is new. Not enough bins ordered. Taking away old bins before delivering the new. No collections for the few lucky enough to have a new bin. No answer to phone enquiries.

Councillor Peter Craske was quoted as saying the situation was not a mess while repeating the official line that more people signed up to the bin tax than was expected. The publicly stated figure is now 27,000 although recent Bexley internal documents refer only to “over 20,000”.

I do not doubt that collecting 75,000 or more 140 litre bins and replacing them with a new one a sixth the size is a big operation. On top of which is the distribution of twenty odd thousand 240 litre bins to selected households, but there has been no semblance of consistency. I have had no food waste collection for more than three weeks. It is fortunate that my next door neighbour has.

The 2012 commitment to good waste management is a long forgotten memory. Remind yourself of it by clicking or scrolling the image below.


Under councillor Peter Craske the food and garden waste collection service is on the verge of collapse. He seems to be a magnet for everything that goes wrong.

It was Craske’s idea to triple some parking charges in 2010. It was Craske who increased the level of parking fines by elevating the outer shopping centres to the same offence status as Bexleyheath. The proposal to penalise motorists for their mistakes, turning right where they shouldn’t, was his too although it took four years to come to fruition.

Latterly Peter Craske has been behind the closing of parks and children’s play facilities. If an idea isn’t his in the first place, he is the mug who picks it up when his colleagues do a runner.

CardiffI have seen various suggestions on how the bin fiasco could have been managed differently. One was that Bexley should have swapped bins with Cardiff where they are moving in the opposite direction.  From 240 litre bins to 140s.

The problem with that is that Cardiff is rather bigger than Bexley but their plan to swap new for old on the same day over three months makes more sense.

It is remarkable that Bexley council thinks it is so good at recycling it lectures on how it should be done. Googling the name of the council’s Head of Waste Management, Steven Didsbury, produces several hits including a couple of cringeworthy videos.

In the one featured here he makes some unfavourable comments about Thamesmead but there are others.

Note: This video has been withdrawn from YouTube.


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