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Ever since Sir Eric Pickles got fed up with Councils ejecting people with
cameras from their meetings Bexley Council has been very relaxed about the use
of electronic wizardry in its Chamber. To be fair they updated their
Constitution in advance of the new laws coming into force. In full compliance
with every recommendation they provided a Press Desk and sometimes even managed to place it
in a position with a view of the Chamber.
At the last People Scrutiny meeting the desk was missing but the always helpful Chairman James Hunt said I could sit at an unoccupied table at the back of the chamber. I chose to drag it to one side. At the Places meeting a couple of days later, the table was ideally placed affording as good a view as is ever likely to be possible in such a poorly designed Council chamber but at the Audit Committee meeting on Tuesday this week the desk was missing again. So was the hearing loop system. There was no desk at last night’s Full Council meeting either and I thought it was about time I said something about it.
Three Labour Councillors went off to try to find a desk while Councillor Colin McGannon (UKIP, Colyers) said I could put my recorder on his table and sit next to him, which I did whilst Councillor Danny Hackett and his friends were trying to find out where the desk had gone.
After a minute or two Danny returned to say that the new moon faced Chief Executive, Gill Steward, had decreed that I should not be provided with a desk in future. Danny said she had written to me about it. If she has the letter has yet to be delivered and if it ever is it will of course appear here.
What sort of cretin would disturb an arrangement which has worked well for years? The Press Table has been a feature at Council meetings since I first attended one in 2010. I was at the Press Table when Councillor Cheryl Bacon notoriously put her meeting into what she called a closed session and I have a letter from the former Chief Executive Will Tuckley recommending I don’t sit in the Public Gallery so as not to be associated with any disturbance that might occur there.
So I carried on sitting next to Councillor McGannon and after a minute or two I found moon face only inches away from me stinking of cheap scent.
She said that she had decided not to allow the provision of a desk as she wasn’t compelled to do so by law, which is true.
Department for Communities and Local Government on ‘Open and Accountable Local Government’.
asked me to accompany her outside but I refused. What had she got to say that she was too
ashamed to say within earshot of Councillors?
Moon face then told me to go and sit in the public gallery where there is nowhere to safely place two cameras and a sound recorder. The demarcation line between the Council Chamber and the Public Gallery appears to be where the wooden floor changes to carpet and I pulled my chair back to be on the carpet. I told moon face that if she didn’t like it she should “fetch a policeman”.
I was rather hoping that the lunatic would and it would ultimately lead to her joining her predecessor in a big file at the Crown Prosecution Service.
Why would the cretin pick an unnecessary fight and not exercise the “common sense” advocated by the government department?
Bexley Council hates criticism, we know that, and likes to report me to the police on trumped up charges which fall apart, and I don’t like them and report them to the police whenever they commit a criminal offence. Then the Council corruptly interferes with the judicial processes which in turn leads to years of further police investigation. Anyone with a brain would be looking to break the circle not compound their previous errors.
Current investigations into Bexley Council’s criminality add up to more than nine years of police time.
It can only be a form of madness but this spiteful brain dead moron from West Sussex and Cornwall and a dozen other places over just a handful of years chooses to start a war rather than let relations gradually improve. It will inevitably lead to relentless criticism, but if that’s the way she wants it…
Is Madam Steward really the best one can get for £173,957 a year?
Click for the idiot’s CV.