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Bonkers Blog October 2017

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9 October (Part 1) - A collection of little ones

Abbey Wood station gets some lifts and some gates
Lifts Oyster FlyoverWith only 13 days to go before the doors are opened for its first passenger it is not surprising that lift construction is well advanced and the Oyster ticket readers have been delivered to the new railway station.

There is still one hell of a lot to be done and Bexley Council is nowhere near to completing the flyover walkways.

A lot of fingers will be crossed right now.

Meanwhile, down below in Wilton Road the police have been busy scaring the baddies away but not before getting valuable video evidence.

Despite that there were three violent altercations last week that I know of but my guess is that if police cuts don’t get to them first the police will gradually get on top of the situation. Another guess, based on feedback from several quarters, is that Abbey Wood residents are about to be let down by both local Councils again.

All photographs taken today.

Stephen Didsbury. King of Waste
Waste letterA week or two ago Bexley Council sent me a copy of their new Terms and Conditions for the Garden Waste service, presumably I was just one of many thousands.

Today by the same post delivery I received two more. Well it helps to keep the recycling rates up.

With around 40,000 bin tax payers the two unnecessary mail distributions even at bulk postage rates must have cost in the region of £30,000.

And Steve Didsbury is still in a job.

A safety measure? No, it’s a half million pound scam
Bexley Council, Conservative Councillors in particular, seem to think that all residents have a high opinion of them. They are still bragging that the Office of National Statistics has put Bexley close to the top of the happiness league.

HappyDelve into the ONS report and you will discover Bexley isn’t even in the top half in London and if the borough was magically transferred to the ONS’s South Eastern Region there would be 75 boroughs and Bexley would be close to being at the bottom of the pile. 72nd place.

I suspect the following comment (referring to Saturday’s blog) is more typical of Bexley residents.
Not happy
I may be unhappy with Bexley Council soon as well.

BiB business took me to Welling yesterday, just south of the notorious yellow money box ‘T’ junction. I was on the leg of the T and it was busy. I should have turned right into the main road but had come from the left and so that stuck in my mind. Both routes are equally good for me.

Stephens SawyerThere was a queue to my right, a car in front of me - which did turn right - and two more behind.

Meanwhile traffic was coming from the left and turning right across the waiting queue.

Eyes darting everywhere I waited for nothing to be in front of me and keeping an eye on the driver queued to my right, slowly pulled out only then to realise that there was not much of a gap to the left.

Fortunately my car is tiny and I squeezed up tight behind the vehicle waiting in the High Street for the lights outside Tesco and even more fortunately just before I had to stop it moved off so I was able to keep going. In any case I was probably safely tucked in but it was a slightly scary moment.

The situation raises an interesting point. If I had not moved off I would have obstructed the vehicle behind me from turning right but even if I had been forced to a standstill I was not blocking him from moving off. My manoeuvre made things safer though, but for a stroke of luck, may have come close to being technically an offence.

Cabinet Member Alex Sawyer says that Yellow Box enforcement is a safety measure but everyone knows he lies. Some like Annmarie Sproul will think he is a sh*t and who would disagree?

Presumably former Finance Director Alison Griffin wouldn’t, she said very clearly, just before escaping Bexley’s clutches, that her budget relied on thieving another £500,000 from motorists this year. Bexley happiest in London? Only the deluded will believe that.

Maybe my narrow squeak will prove something. Yellow Box junction enforcement is automated. Possible infringements are flagged up to someone to look at, or at least that is what is supposed to happen.

If no one notices that I didn’t stop in the junction, at worst I cleared it very slowly, we will know that Bexley Council is trying to screw every last penny from us rather than be fair. We shall see.

Keeping the police fully occupied
Today the Met’s Department of Professional Standards told me that they are very close to winding up their investigation into Bexley police’s failure to properly investigate the crime they traced to Councillor Peter Craske, or to be more precise his phone line.

There was clear documentary evidence on how the police, Bexley council and the Crown Prosecution Service colluded in order to get him off the hook, or as they preferred to say “to resolve Councillor Craske’s situation”.

The complaint was made five and a half years ago and will presumably create a big hole in the DPS’s work schedule when they are finally done with it - although the right to go to the Independent Police Complaints Commission still exists.

To ensure there are no redundancies another complaint went in today. It’s the natural consequence of Bexley police claiming that I published personal details of Councillors Massey’ daughter - there were none whatsoever, not even that she was their daughter - and that their officers did nothing wrong even though they admit to having failed to follow appropriate procedures.

The further complaint will probably appear here eventually but not until I am sure the police are in receipt of it.

Amazon - Maybe my experience will be useful to someone
AmazonMy experience of Amazon is that things usually come quickly - not long ago I had some cables delivered within a couple of hours of ordering - but they give no idea of the time of day goods will arrive. Rather too often they give an hours notice that the parcel will be delivered a day earlier than previously advised, screwing one’s arrangements totally.

On 20th September I ordered a router for my son, those issued by ISPs are generally dreadful and his is no exception. Amazon had what I wanted for £229.99 which was quite a lot cheaper than my usual computer component supplier.

The item was in stock and to overcome the delivery problems I opted to use the Amazon Locker in McColls in Wilton Road.

A few days later the delivery date was revised from September until October, eventually settling on 15th October.

A friend decided her router was rubbish too so I ordered another one from Amazon on Saturday 30th September. It came on the Monday.

Last week I asked Amazon why the router ordered on the 20th was not expected to arrive until the 15th October while the same item ordered ten days later came immediately.

They apologised and said there had been a problem in the despatch department which had been rectified, but still nothing happened, so I emailed Amazon again.

This time they said the problem was that McColl’s Amazon Locker was fully booked until 15th and all I could do was cancel and order again. Meanwhile the price had gone up to £269.99, so not the most attractive option.

I emailed Amazon to suggest they should warn customers of Locker problems but they could not be bothered to reply.

Yesterday I asked in McColls if they knew anything about their Locker. They said it was opened everyday and it didn’t look full up to them.

When I got home I checked my Amazon Orders again. The delivery date had gone back to 29th October which will be after my next visit to my son in Wiltshire. Useless.

However I discovered something that Amazon could not be bothered to tell me. There is no need to cancel and reorder at a higher price, the edit facility allows the delivery address to be changed too.

I changed it and the router is now coming on Wednesday. (Update: It came Tuesday.)

Not Amazon’s finest hour but maybe you can learn from my experience and not fall into the same trap.


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