There is to be a minor Council meeting this evening to interrupt the three
month civic holiday. It is called to discuss the Council’s use of Social Media.
Currently the Council uses Twitter most days and Streetlife very occasionally. Their
main propaganda stream is the Bexley Magazine, allegedly sent to every household, and the
manipulation of the News Shopper. One of their reporters whispered to me while we were
both in the old Civic Centre that they could not cover the
stories in any detail because they had been leaned upon.
There have only been two Bexley Magazines so far this year and the News Shopper appears to be on its last legs. It’s now a South London paper based in Sutton and I have not seen a copy for several weeks; so Bexley Council is correct to assume it must look elsewhere to put out its message.
Councillors have a little knowledge of Social Media, some Tweet on their own account and several of their ward associations spew out their message on Twitter, some reasonable others less so.
Quite often the objective appears to be to rile Labour Councillors which I find more than a little irritating. I voted Tory for longer than most of our Tory councillors and if their efforts look to be counter-productive to me it cannot be good. Maybe they hope to fool the casual observer with a short memory. The majority probably.
Bexley Conservatives’ main Twitter account has taken to using the hashtag #buildingabetterbexley. As if!
When did they ever do anything to make a better Bexley? TfL and the GLA have arguably made a few things better but even those schemes have their dissenters.
Rather a long time ago, before Bexley Council adopted its false slogan about Listening to you, lamp posts were festooned with a similar message. Lamp posts were the Social Media of the 1990s. The message was something like Making life better, I have searched in vain for my filed copy.
For a while I would write to the Council asking how each of their innovations was making life better. They never had an answer and eventually I received a phone call from someone based at Sidcup Manor House who had a better understanding of human psychology than the present incompetent crew. He told me that nothing Bexley Council did was ever likely to improve life for residents, it wasn’t the way that Councils worked. His refreshing honesty persuaded me to give up any pretence at resistance.
Until 2009 when BiB was born anyway!
Last week Bexley Conservatives were regurgitating their Twitter tag of #buildingabetterbexley so I asked if they would kindly let me have a list of things they had built that made Bexley better.
Click either image for a fuller account.
I was rewarded with total silence. The only answer came from one of the more knowledgeable Bexley residents.
I have racked my brain but I really cannot think of anything that Bexley (not TfL) has done since 2006, certainly since 2010, that has improved the place. The nearest I could get was the additional CCTV in the two safest areas of the borough. A sop to their voters but none in Thamesmead where it might have been needed. Academic now, the CCTV system now lies abandoned.
Maybe if CCTV had not been a victim of the cuts the police may have been better placed to find Sidcup’s giant axe wielder or the bank security van robbers in the same High Street. The news that nobody is watching Bexley’s streets any more must be getting around South London’s criminal community.
They are probably more skilled at their chosen profession than the top Council bods are at theirs. On the other hand Bexley Council has the upper hand when it comes to committing a crime and getting away with it.