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Bonkers Blog October 2016

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18 October - Decision making in Bexley. Deplorable

Napier Road CraskeAfter a short update on the burst water main problem in Crayford (the disruption will go on for at least another week from today), Places Scrutiny moved on to the sale of parks.

Councillor Stefano Borella (Labour, North End) reiterated his party’s position that it is against all such sales and referred back to the General Purposes Committee meeting where it was revealed that the value of the Napier Road site “was not sufficient for disposal”, so moving on to his question Stefano said “I would like to ask the Cabinet Member why and when did he decide not to dispose of this site”.

Councillor Craske said “I was thinking about it on Friday and over the weekend and I decided on Monday morning”.

Councillor Borella thought it “was bizarre not to have asked for the figures before it was even on the list. The objectors were given an email on Monday morning by the Cabinet Member and he said very clearly that it was going through the decision making process. In the afternoon the Cabinet Member said he was going to stop the sale. The disposal value was not worth anything, he should not have had it on the list in the first place”.

Well in a competent Council Stefano, then maybe…

Councillor Craske said “there were 27 sites on the list and we are only taking forward eight. The policy was to generate a sum of money, we have got to the point when we do not need to sell the rest off”. Just how big is their miscalculation? 27 sites put under threat with all the consequent worries for residents and they are only going to sell eight.

“I have known the value of that site for ages”, Craske said “and it was touch and go but there were questions about utilities that may or may not be underneath and by the time you put all those through you come to the view it is not really worth…, it doesn’t justify the worth of what comes out of it. I rang Mr. Moore [Director of Regeneration] to tell him about it at 08:30 [on Monday].”

“This site wasn’t going to make a difference one way or another.” So there you have it, Napier Road would never have been on the list if Bexley Council had exercised an iota of common sense.

How many hundreds of residents were put to so much trouble? How many of them now think that Bexley Council is a well run organisation?


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