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Bonkers Blog July 2017

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7 July - The Friday Foursome

The Charlotte
The news that a new planning application for the Crayford pub includes a refurbished bar provoked a 50% bump in visitors to BiB.

Someone disputed that any such plan existed but as Bexley’s planning portal said that the first application was rejected because the Council claimed there was no reason to lose the amenity - the pub - and the second proposed a refurbished bar, I have no idea where that theory came from.
Another theory was that Bexley Council had bought the pub but they denied that a year ago. An email offered possible proof of Bexley’s ownership. It said Bexley’s graffiti removal contractor dealt with unsightly spray painting daubed on The Charlotte but I think Bexley Council still offers a removal service, even on private property, if the graffiti is particularly offensive.

However thanks to some detective work by a BiB reader the new owner of The Charlotte has been identified by both name and company.

I don’t see any need to detail either here but assuming the research is correct the address is in North London with no obvious Bexley connections.

500 Abbey Road
The site of the demolished Harrow Inn has been an Abbey Wood eyesore for the past eight years but plans to build on it are now advancing. It is probably common knowledge that Peabody bought the site at the end of last year and I have three times heard them address interested bodies in private so I must be careful not to stray too far into that area. Fortunately a little of what I know came out at last Tuesday’s Places Scrutiny Meeting at the Civic Offices.

Painter Painter PainterPeabody has tried to acquire the adjacent wreck of a building, once a Thresher’s off-licence “but every time we go to sign the contract the price goes up”. Peabody’s plans for the site are still quite fluid and their plans are unlikely to be known in detail until the planning application is submitted at the end of the year, November at the earliest.

However it does not require a genius to work out that the proposal will be for a block of flats, that is after all the Peabody charity’s business but there is bound to be commercial premises at ground floor level as that is what helps to finance the residential accommodation.

Once they are developed a little more, Peabody will consider exhibiting their plans locally as they are aware of how the site will be a local landmark but must not totally overpower the village atmosphere or obscure the views into the woods.

Contrary to the assumptions of many, the mural which adorns the hoarding around the site was not commissioned by Peabody, they were as surprised to see it as everyone else and don’t know who was responsible. However they were not especially concerned about it and decided to let it stay.

Maybe the photos above will help identify Peabody’s Phantom Painters.

Police update
It has been stated here before, based on information given out by the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards in February this year, that eight Bexley officers were to be ‘arrested’ and interviewed under caution for their role in the aborted criminal investigation involving Councillor Craske and the obscene blog. That remains the case, more or less but I assumed that had been done long ago.

I spoke to the DPS earlier this week and it was disappointing to note that so far they have interviewed just one police officer and the second is on hold because he has gone sick. It is five months since they said that eight were to be interviewed and indicated a result might be within sight by now.

I can understand them starting with the small fry and working their way up to the big fish but the complaint is more than five years old and it is 17 months since the third investigation team took over after the first two played silly games with it.

The number may not be eight any more because new names come into the frame while others are deemed to be on the periphery of the case and unlikely to have a lot to contribute.

I know the DPS have found serious wrong doing in Bexley in part because they were provided with documentary proof of it and also because they nodded assent when I asked them if they had come to share my views on the whole business, however I am beginning to suspect that the way is being paved for a huge dollop of whitewash to be thrown over the files.

The investigating officer assures me otherwise but so did the Greenwich officer investigating the former Bexley Chief Executive and Councillor Cheryl Bacon for Misconduct in Public Office.

My default position with the police is that one should never trust any of them, although to give him his due, the Greenwich officer was as straight as a die and was more shocked about the outcome of that case than I was.

Based on previous assurances I was pretty confident that the DPS would come up with a good result on the Craske case but now I am not so sure. It won’t be helping that one of the officers involved is the Met’s Head of Diversity. I was formally asked to withdraw my allegation against him last year but refused.

GP appointments
I’ve pretty much given up on the BBC. Radio 4 used to be on somewhere in the house all day long, but not any more. Early in the morning it now tends to be LBC and this morning they spent an hour discussing the generally lamentable GP services, which is the excuse for this short piece.

Fortunately I rarely have to see a doctor and if I do it is generally good enough to wander down to his surgery and book an appointment for the end of the week after next. However I have too many friends who need medical attention far more frequently.

One who has a life threatening condition sought medical help for a chest infection at the beginning of this year. She was told to go away, it would get better eventually.

It didn’t and she booked another appointment with a two week waiting time. Unable to breathe easily and fearing she was going to die (I thought it possible too) she went back to the doctor pleading to be seen. She was refused. A&E came to her rescue saying another 48 hours and she probably would have died.

This week she went to the surgery to book another appointment. “You can’t, we only take bookings on Mondays and Thursdays now, it’s to stop people failing to turn up.” Quite how was not explained.

“You can book by phone on other days.” The receptionist knows that my friend cannot use the telephone because she is stone deaf and gets by by lip reading. The response was little better than “Tough luck”.

There are far too many people in this country and we all know why.

Just to be clear, the surgery concerned is not in Bexley.


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