When I was a kid living in Aldershot in the 1950s it was the proud “Home of the British
Army” and in those idyllic pre-terrorist days we could ride our bikes
around the barracks free of all restrictions.
The barrack rooms consisted mainly of rusty and neglected corrugated iron huts. One day while the gang of young cyclists was passing through we noticed that all the huts were being given a quick lick of whitewash by dozens of young squaddies. We asked what was going on.
The nearest soldier said we wouldn’t be allowed in the next day because the Queen was due to make an inspection. We observed that only the fronts of the huts were being painted, the Royal party would never see the back half and if the Queen did not return the fronts would never see a paint brush again.
Something like that is going on in Bexley at the moment. After four years of cutting services, Bexley’s Tory controlled Council has saved some money and decided to spend some of it on undoing the damage done to the borough in previous years.
Tree planting, street cleaning, weed spraying, road and footpath repairs and of course fence painting are all having money spent on them. Not as much as was spent at the time of the last election but more than last year and the year before.
The Queen might not be visiting but there is an election just around the corner and just like the Queen was not due back to Aldershot there won’t be another election until 2022.
Bexley Council is in effect spending taxpayers’ money to fund their election campaign.
A detailed examination of the figures shows that the money is being spent in Council wards the Conservatives must retain next May in the face of a possible Corbyn tide.
Too often I have felt that Bexley Labour has simply sat back and accepted this abuse of power but today I am pleased to note that they are kicking back.
Why do Bexley Conservatives employ dishonest tactics in practically everything they do?
Labour Press Release: Click to read it all.
Although they deny it, Bexley Council has form for favouring Conservative
wards. In the Summer of 2011 when there was a bit of spare money sloshing around
it was decided to spend some on extending the CCTV system. Given the choice
between putting cameras in leafy and genteel Bexley Village and the relatively
crime ridden Thamesmead, guess where the money was spent.
Now that money is tight the system is no longer monitored and is of a lot less use than it used to be.
The Tories will point to the new Belvedere Beach and the improvement at Lesnes Abbey but they didn’t have much choice did they? They were spending Cory Environmental money in Belvedere and it was only available if spent close to the Cory incinerator.
Some Tories would probably be happier if Richard de Luci had built his Abbey further south but the fact is he didn’t and it is where it is. In any case nearly 90% of the refurbishment money came from the Heritage Lottery Fund.