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Bonkers Blog January 2016

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7 January - A slow news day

The wait goes on
December was spent waiting for the Crown Prosecution Service’s promise to deliver their decision on Will Tuckley and Councillor Cheryl Bacon on the 18th. Would they or would they not be charged with Misconduct in a Public Office?

Whenever I looked back at the evidence I became a little more confident that the case could not be casually cast aside. The evidence that Cheryl Bacon is a liar intent on dishonestly discrediting members of the public is very strong. Ten witnesses against her story. None for her, and then there were the early council press releases that failed to support her fantasies followed by later ones that did.

A classic Bexley Council cover up.

One might assume that the police and CPS were inclined to agree because either could have dropped the case (first submitted in July 2014) early on but didn’t.

The CPS has now said it will be another month before they reach a decision. I suspect that the case will take a similar course to the one against Councillor Peter Craske. Once it gets really serious everything is ‘bumped upstairs’ for a political decision.

The new promised date is 5th February.

More Misconduct
The minutes of the Code of Conduct Committee meeting that dealt with the complaint against Councillor Maxine Fothergill refer to her “Misconduct”. It found her guilty of conferring a disadvantage on someone to gain a financial advantage for herself. So that’s another Misconduct in a Public Office is it not? Case law has already shown councillors to be subject to it. The Cheryl Bacon case had to jump through that hoop before it went forward to the CPS.

Better legal minds than mine are working on it.

Old Farm Park
An announcement by the Old Farm Park campaigners makes for depressing reading. Residents are suffering Consultation Fatigue and few have completed the statutory consultation.

The Summer holiday consultation (1,361 objections) is now worthless, sent the same way as the 3,000 signature petition and discarded by the Listening Council. Those people’s wishes count for nothing. The slate was wiped clean and replaced with a Christmas holiday consultation.

Bexley Council is going to sell up to 26 parks and open spaces. If you’d like to see Bexley become a concrete jungle (21,500 new houses planned) then sit back and do nothing between now and 14th January. The ‘Advert’ at the top left of this page links to the instructions on how to make your views known.

Cabinet Member Don Massey who first put the park closure proposals before cabinet doesn’t even live in the borough. Just because he no longer cares what happens to Bexley does not mean residents should give up too.

Your Good Health
It may not be widely known but Bexley Council is responsible for part of your health service. Smoking cessation, obesity clinics, sexual health, substance abuse, all that sort of thing is a council responsibility. Their Health & Wellbeing Committee is chaired by that well known health freak, Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE (Obvious Banqueting Excesses) and whilst not everything about it is bad some services are rated as the worst performing in the country. Notably HIV rates.

Another consultation is out for your perusal.

Cabinet Member Peter Craske wants to know how you think health services can best operate with a reduced budget.

The People Scrutiny Committee always includes a report from the health professionals and nearly everything is always wonderful. The total lack of A&E and maternity services within Bexley is long since forgotten. I’ve not found any problem with medical care but the management always lets it down.

My GP sent me for a fast track cancer referral last September and I was seen by a consultant within days. On 27th October I was given a CT scan in QEH but the follow up appointment to discuss the result is not due until March. They won’t tell my GP what the result was and he says I should assume they would have let me know if anything untoward had been found.

I assumed this money wasting lack of coordination was a one off, but in December a neighbour was fast tracked for a suspected skin cancer. He underwent an immediate biopsy and was told to come back in June to get the results. After kicking up a fuss the appointment has been brought forward to February. In my own case I’m pretty sure the symptoms were a false alarm but it would be nice to know for sure.

The two week target for cancer consultations has become a nonsense, just another abused statistic like A&E waiting times.

When those 21,500 new homes are built, where’s the new hospital going to be built?

Erith Tragedy
The sad events in Pembroke Road do nothing to enhance the reputation of Bexley police. Three weeks before they thought to look around the back garden. It’s only three months since Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe had to apologise to the family of Alistair Calvert, an 18 year old who collapsed in Wolvercote Road, Thamesmead and died in hospital.

The Met Police, not just in Bexley but at Commissioner level too, linked the death to laughing gas canisters. Alistair was a clean living young lad with a defective heart, not a lager swilling drug addict.

Without a Bexley Council connection neither case is of direct interest to BiB but Sian Blake who is now feared murdered was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. I have some experience of the devastating effects of MND and cannot imagine any mother coping with both the disease and two young children. Was there a Bexley Council sponsored domiciliary care package in place and how were the children cared for?

Another Rhys Lawrie case (murdered under Bexley council’s nose in 2011) is the last thing anyone wants but is Bexley’s child care system which relies so heavily on inexperienced trainees any better than it was five years ago? Probably the cover up system is.


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