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Bonkers Blog February 2016

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10 February (Part 3) - You’ve got to pick a pocket or two

Every year at about this time Bexley Council publishes its Fees and Charges for the coming financial year. Last year they said they would all be going up by 3% in line with inflation (when inflation was close to 1%) but lots of charges went up a great deal more, notably car park season tickets (50%).

This year their target for increases is 10% and the Council has dropped all pretence that the rises are inflation related, they are clearly to cover their past financial mismanagement. First the good news; car park annual season tickets are not going up again and neither is the brown bin tax - but no discounts so a 22% increase for most of us.

Politicians rely on us having poor memories or they would never get re-elected so I have kept all of Bexley’s Charges Schedules since 2010. Back then it cost 40 pence to park in one of the minor short stay parking bays and only 20 pence for further half hours. A pound for two hours. From April the same thing will be 60 pence for every half hour. £2.40 for two hours.

An hour of parking in the smaller car parks, Mill Road, Sidcup Place, Gayton Road etc. will cost 25% more (£1).

If you think motorists have been taking a thrashing give a thought to the homeless and the disabled. If you lose your home through no fault of own and are rehoused in a pokey flat there will be a £240 charge to have your belongings put in store and a minimum of £10 a week to keep them there. Free until now.

Those who give their lives to caring for the disabled and otherwise afflicted will see the price of a week’s respite double. Those with physical difficulties, up from £650 a week to £1,200. Worse if you look after someone with learning disabilities, that’s up from £650 to £1,443.

If you need someone to live in and lend a hand, no charge at present, a sliding scale from £60 to £110 a day come April.

Even the humble Emergency Link service for those at risk is £5.10 a week. I pay Newham Council £2.00 (it’s just gone up) to keep an ear open for my aunt.

O'NeillIf the thought of what this woman has done to the borough since her predecessor was convicted of fraud makes you want to curl up and die; then please don’t, you can’t afford it.

Six years ago the cost of the most basic funeral was £1,009. There were of course a plethora of miscellaneous charges on top but that was the cost of the plot. Now it is to be £1,815. A top of the range job has gone up from £4,570 to £18,088 in five years.

But there is no need to worry, Teresa O’Neill’s ambition is to see you die a pauper. Still free as far as I can see.

RIP Bexley.


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