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Bonkers Blog May 2018

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30 May - Why let the facts get in the way of a good story?

Today BiB returns to an all too familiar theme, why do Bexley’s top Tories lie all the time? This website was created only because Bexley Council told me one big lie at a time I had no idea that was the norm. Since then Bonkers has been sustained by more and more lies. It would most probably die if things were otherwise.

Why some Councillors can be so stupid as to provide so much ammunition is a mystery.

One might understand them lying to cover criminal acts or when their negligence and mismanagement has contributed to the death of a resident (†) but as far as I know nothing like that has happened in very recent years yet still they go on lying,

They lie for political advantage and they lie just for the sake of it.

One of yesterday’s lies fell into that category.

It all began last Wednesday evening after I had been to the Full Council meeting, no scrap that, it began four whole years before in 2014.

Until then there had been seven Overview and Scrutiny Committees with each Chairman on £8,802 a year.

Then Council Leader Teresa O’Neill decided that Scrutiny Committees were a potential obstacle to her ambitions and cut their number to three. Four Councillors each lost £35,208 of income over four years. Not a popular move so the sop was that for the first time the Vice-Chairman would be paid too, but not only that, also for the very first time, two Vice-Chairmen were appointed. It didn’t make up for the whole loss but it was better than nothing.

Six Councillors took home £12,000 each that they would not otherwise have done.

The Labour Group objected to so many noses being pushed into the trough but to no avail. Two Vice-Chairmen was a total nonsense which former Councillor Maxine Fothergill proved to everyone by failing to show up at 75% of meetings with no adverse effects.

Last week Bexley Council said it would increase the number of Scrutiny Committees to four, obviously that would be one extra Chairman to be paid.

Using Twitter and less than an hour after the meeting ended I posed the question “So we now have an extra Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen? That will be another £15k into Councillors’ pockets will it not?”

When next day I was preparing the formal meeting report I noted that a table included within the Agenda referred to Overview and Scrutiny Committee Vice-Chairman (x4) which answered my Twitter question. My assumption that Bexley Conservatives would never adopt a Labour proposal and go back to one Vice-Chairman per Committee was wrong. At least in part; the Tories have accepted that there is no need to have two Vice-Chairmen but not yet that there is no need to pay them.

The over-hasty assumption was acknowledged on Twitter and more comprehensively on the blog which made things totally clear and favourably contrasted Conservative Bexley’ְְs 2% increase in allowances with Labour Tower Hamlet’s 70% increase.

To put the worst possible interpretation on what were only questions, I accused Bexley Tories of continuing to duplicate Vice-Chairmen. Buried in the small print and initially unnoticed was the news they had belatedly changed their minds and the mistake was acknowledged.

TwitterBexley Conservatives never did answer my question but instead dishonestly twisted it to their supposed advantage.

Apparently I am a Labour supporter which they know I am not who claims that the number of Vice-Chairmen has been increased.

In fact I only asked if they had been and although I acknowledge I was wrong to believe the numbers may have gone up there were acknowledgments of the error on both Twitter and this blog.

But the liars who run @bexleynews are not interested in the truth. (Councillors Craske and Read if the gossip can be believed.)

Rhys Lawrie who died unnoticed by Bexley Council in 2011. Barbara Baker who died alone in 2012 after Bexley Council imposed foolhardy staffing cuts.


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