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Bonkers Blog March 2017

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9 March - Paying the Ferry man

Some mornings, and today was one of them, I wake up with no idea whatsoever for a blog entry. There’s always photos of all the work going on in Abbey Wood to be posted and Crossrail of course but what I usually hope for when there is nothing else is an interesting Bexley Council Press Release.

Today I was disappointed. There was one yesterday featuring Cabinet Member Philip Read but I judged it of not wide enough interest to be added to the BiB list of Press Releases.
Press Release
Most of Bexley’s Press Releases are issued by either Jane Parsons or her boss John Ferry. I suppose that putting a positive spin on what Bexley Council does must be an important job.

Expertly covering up the Council’s biggest mistakes is an invaluable skill. When Bexley Council employed a known inebriate to man their emergency Link Line and sleep through the night all by himself and their client Mrs. Baker died while frantically pressing her alarm, the Press Office managed to keep the lid on it for more than a year before Bonkers spilled the beans. Six weeks later the News Shopper gave it a front page spread.

Oh to have been a fly on the wall when Teresa O’Neill sought John Ferry’s advice and everyone was sworn to secrecy.

Their mistake was sacking the man who had all the evidence of their failure instead of generously paying him off with a gagging clause which is the more usual procedure.

Whether John Ferry is always so efficient is hard to say. A quick glance at Bexley’s website suggests he might not be. It still claims the Council is a contributor to Streetlife. Streetlife closed down a month ago.

Bexley’s own blog which is supposed to give updates on Bexley’s achievements has not seen an entry this year and only one since last Summer. The last entry on Setting the Record Straight which has not yet featured Bonkers was on 23rd August 2016. Their Facebook Live has not been updated since October 2015. Communicating may not be the Comms Team’s strong point after all, maybe those skills stop at cover ups and go no further.

Perhaps Mr. Ferry needs more staff and staff that come to the office every day of the week. My enquiries suggest that the Comms. Team consists of John Ferry with a junior manager and a couple of assistants in which case it is not the biggest management job on the Council, but it attracts big management pay. £62,562 if my detective work is correct. Possibly a bargain to those he helps protect, with 17 years at Bexley Council behind him there will be a lot of skeletons to be hidden.

His junior manager is a part timer, or to be more precise, works from home and on a mere £41,946 a year.

Nice work if you can get it.

I look forward to BiB’s first appearance on Setting the Record Straight.


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