week’s Council meeting was not all gold chains, scarlet ermine and alcohol, there was
some serious business to attend to. Like handing out the jobs for the boys.
Councillor Don Massey was bunged the Deputy Leader’s job as, one must hope, a final payoff before departing to his home town of Rochester following the 2018 election.
A more palatable appointment sees Councillor John Fuller resume his place as Cabinet Member for Education. It’s good to have one Cabinet Member who has no obvious skeletons in his cupboard.
The most significant change of meeting Chairmen is caused by Councillor Peter Reader becoming Mayor (£24,172 per year). His former Planning Committee Vice-Chairman Councillor Val Clark will step into his place (£18,220 per year) with Councillor John Waters taking hers (£12,079 per year). Both planning appointments are likely to prove disastrous to those who believe in a Listening Council. Whatever happened to that?
You may think those payments are more than generous for voluntary part-time jobs and you would not be alone. The Labour Group now led by Councillor Daniel Francis proposed some modest reductions in the rates of pay but the Conservatives soon jumped on that. They are not there to see their own pockets raided.
The last change to Bexley Council’s allowance scheme was immediately after the 2014 Council election when Teresa O’Neill introduced £18,000’s worth of new allowances where none existed before. Labour has tried many times to abolish Teresa O’Neill’s generosity to her voting fodder; no chance!
The Labour Group also sought to have some representation on membership of outside bodies where places are reserved for Councillors. The Tories were having none of that either. Teresa O’Neill does not believe in democracy, reporting critics to the police is more her style.
The Council meeting was the first I recall where the Chief Table Snatcher and Head of Legal, Akin Alabi were both missing. Mr. Akabi is no longer Monitoring Officer. That role is now filled by Terry Osborne, labelled reprehensible in Court for doing favours for friends. Making a complaint against Bexley Council stick was always difficult. Looks like they may be on a mission to make it impossible.