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London Borough of Culture

Bonkers Blog May 2016

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Sidcup Place

4 May - Cray, Crooks, Children, Cloisters and Crossrail

Bexley Village bridge
The Cray bridge works are a little off the beaten track for me but most days I get a report from someone who gets caught up in the traffic disruption as far away as Penhill Road. It’s horrendous apparently, it must be doing wonders for the borough’s economy.

Twice the partial reopening has been deferred because Bexley Council’s inadequate survey failed to discover hidden snags but only another month to go now, barring more incompetence.

I found myself in Bexley this evening so here’s a few pictures of what is going on.
Bridge Bridge Bridge Bridge
Bridge Bridge Bridge Bridge

The Nasty Party animals

HarassmentNothing much has happened since the police harassed the family living next door to Councillor Massey’s rented house in Sidcup. The householder had previously asked the police for advice on a noisy all night party at the Massey’s place. As a result of what the police could hear down the phone, they decided to pay a visit.

With the complainant’s consent the story was reported here and it seems reasonable to assume that the police were asked to get heavy. Who do you think might indulge in such revenge?

Police procedures are clear enough; those accused of harassment must be told exactly what they are accused of so that they have every opportunity to modify their behaviour. The falsely accused neighbour asked Bexley police for a copy of the complaint against them. They were made to fill in a request form three weeks ago and told they’d get a copy of the complaint against them within a couple of days.

They are still waiting and the latest advice is that it will take 40 days to provide a copy of the complaint the Massey’s were said to have made against their long-suffering neighbour.

All is now becoming clear. A properly executed Harassment warning requires the issue of a Form 9993 and a written statement of what the alleged offence is. How else is the accused supposed to know what the problem is?

No such form has been issued. It looks likely that someone reminded the police that their first duty is to protect Bexley Council and suggested the frighteners should be put on an innocent resident. This is how Bexley police has operated in the past although I had hoped they had learned their lesson.

The 40 days is the period allowed for a Subject Access Request to be made under the Data Protection Act. If no Form 9993 was issued Bexley Police will be hard pressed to come up with any reason for putting the screws on the Massey's neighbour. If they cannot provide evidence that the Massey's made a formal complaint, albeit a malicious one, and there was nothing more than a word in a receptive ear, it will become clear that Borough Commander Jeff Boothe’s force is still in the business of jumping to Bexley Council’s tune. The case will inevitably go to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

I’ve been down that path rather too many times. I was with two police officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards only last week pursuing a case of Misconduct in Public Office against former Borough Commanders Stringer and Olisa. Mick Barnbrook has a case outstanding against CS Ayling who followed them to Bexley and it would be unsurprising to see the fourth successive Borough Commander go down the same route.

Police officers must be absolutely mad to leave themselves open to such serious allegations just to protect their crooked Council friends.

The noisy party definitely took place, pictures of it were plastered all over social media.

Bexley Social Services
I have been following several cases of families who have had children stolen by Bexley Council, which is generally speaking a subject that does not lend itself to publicity due to confidentiality and court proceedings.

However it is good to report that in the longest of the cases brought to my attention, Bexley Council has been ordered by the Ombudsman to apologise to the mother for the treatment they dished out to her. It was quite appalling. She still hasn’t got her child back though.

Lesnes Abbey
I said recently, on Twitter, not here, that the last news I had from Bexley Council for when they might finish spending £4·2 million on Lesnes Abbey park was the end of June, I suppose I should add 2016 bearing in mind just how far behind schedule the project appears to be.
Lesnes Lesnes Lesnes Lesnes
It certainly looked nice today in the Spring sunshine and the view towards the city was much improved over that at the weekend.
Panorama
However the reason for returning to Lesnes Abbey so soon after the last time was that a number of people have told me that their recent enquiries to Bexley Council revealed that the project is unlikely to be completed before the end of August 2016.

Trains will be running from the new Platform 2 at Abbey Wood station before then and it doesn't exist at the moment, not even the foundations.

Crossrail
Crossrail CrossrailAnother bit of misinformation was the statement that track piling behind Coptefield Drive finished a week early. The news came from Crossrail, not Network Rail, exactly a week ago. It was wrong. more piles were delivered today and the banging went on all morning.

Network Rail confirmed today that there is more to do but the piles are only being thumped into the ground where their surveys showed ground conditions were unstable. I suspect their surveys are more reliable than Bexley Council’s.

If you click on the second image you can see when trains will be running during May weekends.

 

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