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Bonkers Blog July 2018

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20 July - The Bexley Deal. It’s a DIY solution, the Council has no money

MayorTwo rival take-aways on the high street both poking flyers through letter boxes extolling their virtues but one claims that you will get food poisoning if you buy from the other. Not content with that they rake up the distant past by reporting that back in 2006 the other outfit was closed down having breached every hygiene regulation imaginable but the flyers fail to mention that it is now under new management.

The adverse publicity falsely claims to have the lowest prices and its rival goes out of business. There are immediate price rises and increased delivery charges.

Gloating over the success of their shady tactics the surviving business sets up a new Facebook page and gets family members to post some glowing reviews, the sort of unethical practice that honest business would disown.

Ok, so it’s not much of an analogy but Bexley Conservatives have successfully pulled off a similar stunt.

Last Wednesday they got to the family members on Facebook stage. Councillor Adam Wildman moved a Motion for Council approval.

“This Council welcomes the trust Bexley residents placed in them in electing a Conservative administration for the fourth consecutive term in May 2018.”

“This Council further welcomes the administration’s investment in local services, welcomes the focus on improving outcomes; and welcomes the administration’s plans to establish ‘The Bexley Deal’ to reinforce and enhance partnership working between the Council, residents, businesses, charities and local communities in the borough.”

“All Members of the Council commit to working to deliver ‘The Bexley Deal’ and a borough we can continue to be proud of.”

Do normal well adjusted people turn to their spouse, partner, friend etc. to ask if they are the best friend etc. they have ever had and insist they put it in a signed legal document?

What is the point of a Council wasting time and putting on the official record the fact that they believe themselves to be God’s gift to democracy? And what is this Bexley Deal anyway? It has never been mentioned by Bexley Council before.

Councillor Stefano Borella (Labour, Slade Green & Northend) objected to “a policy he had never heard of being introduced on the hoof” but none of the Tories were in the slightest bit interested in offering an explanation. They all voted to shut Stefano up. How can sane people be expected to vote on something without knowing what it is or having time to think about it?

WildmanPresumably sane people are in short supply on Bexley Council and as if to prove the point one of their newest loons rose to his feet. Councillor Adam Wildman (Conservative, Blendon & Penhill) is very keen to the polish the Leader’s inflated ego.

He said that the 2014 election gave the Conservatives 71% of seats and now they had 75% which he claimed was “a significant endorsement” and down to the borough having a successful Council

Foremost among the successes was housing, “perhaps the most important issue for Londoners”. Bexley has put “£55 million into housing over the past four years. The worst period for housing in Bexley was in 2003/4 and 2005/6 [the Labour period] when on average 178 homes were started per year and in the last ten years it has averaged 200.”

“Last year the figure was only 164 affordable homes which is more than built by Hammersmith & Fulham, Brent and Camden.”

The Council has “completed a £4·2 million investment in Lesnes Abbey {with money that came from English Heritage] and won the London Borough Tree and Woodland Award”.

“The Council has prioritised investment in our children and provided £1 million to improving children’s playgrounds which includes Belvedere Beach [using Cory Environmental’s money]”.

A Council initiative at Queen Elizabeth Hospital succeeded in getting the elderly out of hospital as early as possible and the scheme has been rolled out to all the other hospitals serving Bexley. Because of such schemes “Bexley was ranked fourth in a quality of life survey of London boroughs”.

“The Council has saved around £109 million since 2010” which was attributed to “efficiencies”. (Like more efficiently fining motorists for minor traffic infringements and increasing every charge, fee and tax that exists.)

More efficiencies are needed and Councillor Wildman indicated where the money will come from.

The Growth Strategy, the Place and Making Institute, the extension of Crossrail to Ebbsfleet and a new Twitter hashtag. #doitforbexley. Simply genius!

#doitforbexley, otherwise known as ‘The Bexley Deal’ will encourage street parties, litter picking and volunteering.

Councillor Wildman was given a prolonged round of applause by the assembled Conservatives.

DimentCouncillor Richard Diment (Conservative, Sidcup) had his seconder’s speech well prepared. it went like this…

“The election result on May 3rd was decisive. The people made it clear they wanted the Conservative party to be leading this borough for the next four years and it was not by accident”.

“People looked at what had been achieved and looked at what was planned and they like what they saw.”

He praised Children’s Services and “£680,000 has been saved by a reduction in care days”. Bexley was said by a leading government adviser “to have the best care services in the whole country”.

The borough has been similarly praised for its dementia care services.

Councillor Diment was also given a round of applause by the assembled sycophants.

Well at least we know what The Bexley Deal is now, it is getting taxpaying residents to do some of the work they have already paid the Council to do.

PallenCouncillor Eileen Pallen wished to add her two pennyworth.

She said that Bexley residents are “good people” and “The Bexley Deal is already happening because it [helping] is a natural thing to do. We have the most amazing volunteers.”

Councillor Pallen then launched into a number of Football World Cup Gareth Southgate analogies which were every bit as bad as the one with which I began this piece. I shall spare her blushes and move on.

More applause.

Councillor Cafer Munir (Conservative, Blackfen & Lamorbey) also praised Bexley residents for electing him and supporting “our great track record. The Motion sets out to do so {create trust] between our residents businesses and partners through The Bexley Deal”. He looked forward to “bringing the Big Society to Bexley”. (© Steve Hilton/David Cameron.)


Right, so now we know that Bexley Council is launching a new policy called The Bexley Deal. It is aimed at getting residents to do more things for themselves using unpaid volunteers. Fair enough, maybe we should help more when times are tough. There has been a fiery debate on my local Face Group pages arguing both for and against traders clearing the absolutely filthy pavements outside their shops. Not just litter but drink stains allegedly augmented with pee.

But why does a new policy have to be revealed by and wrapped up in a Motion aimed at getting praise for Bexley Council on to the public record? Once again it is not the policy that is suspect but our Council’s arrogance, self aggrandisement and dishonest ethics which lets it down.

Did Labour have anything to say about it? You bet they did. They may have had no forewarning of what The Bexley Deal was but they had prepared their amended Motion anyway. Their leader Daniel Francis (Belvedere) introduced it which is probably a big enough subject for another day. However it won’t be any surprise to you that the Conservatives were having none of it. Nothing can be allowed to get in the way of a Tory back slapping frenzy.


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