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Bonkers Blog December 2017

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13 December - A bit of this and a bit of that

It must be Christmas - 1
I don’t think Bexley’s Cabinet Member for roads, transport and unnecessary traffic jams, Alex Sawyer was ever very keen on imposing Sunday parking restrictions in Bexleyheath. Alex occasionally shows signs of possessing common sense unbecoming of a Bexley Cabinet Member and he has found an excuse to defer the planned attack on motorists and the town centre itself.

Click the image above to read all of the letter.

It must be Christmas - 2
At last night’s Cabinet Meeting approval was given to a scheme whereby all of London’s 32 boroughs will pool their Business Rate income and redistribute it according to a formula thrashed out by representatives of each Council, in Bexley’s case Councillor Teresa O’Neill.

TwitterBexley’s share will be £2·8 million (just over 1% of the capital’s total hand out) though the figure will not be confirmed until the Summer of 2019. (Nineteen!)

It is not all good news, Bexley will lose £8·5 million of Revenue Support Grant.

Bexley Council is claiming that “the £2·8 million is new money” but they lie so often that one wonders if it is or whether it is just the usual gloss. Where did the £8·5 million go?

Memorandum of Understanding.

It’s not Christmas after all. Bah humbug!
While other London borough's have been advertising their pre-Christmas free parking, Bexley Council has said nothing. But there are a couple of weekends to go yet.

Before BiB caused a change in lifestyle in 2009 I went to Bexleyheath only once a year, just before Christmas and came back loaded. Since then the immediate family all agreed to give up on presents but my son married into a family which goes overboard on it and that is where I will be this Christmas. Everything has come from Amazon, well strictly speaking not, the last two parcels are due today but not been seen yet.(And it is nearly six o’clock!)

Bexleyheath and its constant road works are best avoided. The Christmas respite has come too late for me.

It’s Greenwich’s problem

BinsOver on Facebook Bexley Council has been slated for not emptying these bins. They are only a few metres into the Royal Borough but they are most definitely not on Bexley’s patch.

I reported them to Greenwich Council last Thursday but almost a week later they are in an even worse state. Greenwich is reported to have denied they are theirs which is nonsense. It is surprising they have not blamed the snow.

Any excuse will do.

The World is your Lobster
OysterWhat sort idiot names a travel card after a shell fish? It’s always been a puzzle to me.

I have never owned an Oyster card but I have used a contactless debit card occasionally because it saves a few pennies - but not at Abbey Wood apparently.

It has been widely reported that one of the ticket barriers at our shiny new station has been failing to register anything on TfL’s central computer so maximum fares have been applied.

If you have been through Abbey Wood since (or on) 22nd October it might be worth looking at your bank statement.

Fighting fibs - again!
Why can’t people stick to the truth and try not to exaggerate everything? BiB could not exist if it lied all the time, it would tie me in knots within a week or two because I would not have the time or mental capacity to avoid the traps and contradictions that would be created.

Crossrail meetings can get heated at times because there is not much doubt that Network Rail sometimes rides rough shod over things. I am tempted to say the tactic has sometimes been to delay remedies until the problem goes away naturally.

I still have no idea why the track fences and trees along my road had to be removed, and even less about why they were never replaced. If someone called it arrogance you wouldn’t find me arguing but I have recently found myself caught on the other side of a Crossrail argument on Facebook.

Referring to the Crossrail Liaison Panel meeting about the flooding problems in Abbey Grove someone posted this…

I could not believe the audacity of what Network Rail & Balfour Beatty reps were spewing out; they obviously don’t survey the area but still deny there are problems and just want to walk away. Well done everyone who contributed to their angst.

Leaving aside the fact that Balfour Beatty’s men take their theodolites to bed with them and never do anything without a survey, the statement that they deny there are flooding problems is the sheerest nonsense. If that was the case they would not be boring exploratory holes and requesting permission to lay 350 metres of very expensive deep drainage pipes.

For taking a view which did not find favour with the baying mob I was called a hypocrite and asked to withdraw my defence of Balfour Beatty. No way!

You may be interested to hear what Balfour Beatty’s manager said last week at the Crossrail meeting in front of ‘the Facebook someone’.

Good evening everybody, my name is Andy Bradshaw, I’m the Project Leader for Balfour Beatty on the Abbey Wood station project, I have met some of you, we are talking now about the Abbey Grove flooding. Raj [Pathak, Network Rail project manager] alluded to the floods in June 2016, I was party to them, I witnessed those and I could see the appalling conditions that people were having to deal with in their back gardens and I hope it came across that we were empathetic and that had highlighted an issue which we thought merited a good deal of further consideration.

It doesn’t sound much like a denial to me.

With hindsight Network Rail should have taken more account of what local residents told them about water courses in 2014 but if the Environment Agency and the Royal Borough of Greenwich were on the record as saying “no problem” there is no way funds would become available to explore local concerns.

It’s not a good situation and Network Rail now finds itself in a difficult position but shouting at them and distorting the facts is unlikely to win any friends, and the residents of Abbey Grove are in dire need of a solution to their problem right now.

Note: There is a solution but it fails because one resident refuses to accept it.

Useless Head of Waste Department
Steve DidsburyIt is more than two months since I FOI’d Bexley Council about Steve Didsbury’s promise to do something sensible with my photos of a fly tipper caught in the act. Instead he did nothing. The FOI was acknowledged but Bexley Council has refused to enter into any correspondence about it since. 20 days is the time the law allows for answers.

A few lines to the Information Commissioner was a lot easier to write than 30 odd pages to the Independent Police Complaints Commissioner.

The Royal Mail confirmed the IPCC delivery on Monday. Expect a response in six months minimum.

This is just Bonkers
It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes Bexley residents Google for Bexley Council and come up with Bexley-is-Bonkers. Then they go to the Contact page and dip their digital pen into the green ink.

This message arrived today.

Waist paper for recycling.
Hi, I reported to you on your web site that the dustmen did not take my waist paper on Monday, that is when I reported it to you and you said they will come within to days and take it away, but now one as come round and collected it.
If you are not going to empty my paper bin I am not going to put it out anymore, as me and my wife are both registered disabled and we have great difficulty in putting it out once without having to take it back in again.
If you are not going to take it we will not bother putting out.

No address provided.

Litigious Councillors
It was on 19th November that BiB announced it would drop the Maxine Fothergill business; she is not this website’s target. It put her apology on line a week later and that should have been the end of it; however by email Councillor Fothergill let it be known she was unhappy with the decision to post nothing more.

The time has come to try again. There will be no more Maxine Fothergill info. Little remains and in any case I have no permission to publish it. With luck and good judgment nothing more will ever see the light of day.


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