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Bonkers Blog February 2019

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23 February (Part 1) - Backward Bexley

While looking at a Greenwich based Facebook page I noticed that residents in SE2 were complaining that they had to pay £57 a year for a permit to park outside their own home.

They were somewhat shocked when I told them that some SE2 residents had to pay £100 and had been doing so for the past eight years. Those SE2 residents were penalised for being in Bexley.

It was Cabinet Member Peter Craske who decided to triple (from £35) permit charges and who manufactured the lies to justify it. He claimed it cost £240 a year to administer the scheme, a figure achieved through creative arithmetic. A disproportionate amount of enforcement effort was loaded on to residents’ bays and on white paint. Around £6 per foot must have been spent on annual repainting to get up to £240.

Craske also referred to favourable residents’ surveys which Freedom of Information requests revealed had never taken place.

Bexley Council in 2011 absolutely excelled at lying.

Kingston Council chargesIt may be interesting to compare Bexley’s £100 fee with other boroughs; Newham for example hands out the first permit free, always has done.

Kingston Council gets quite creative, their scheme, see table, must be quite expensive to administer.

Kingston being a Lib Dem Council is big on green issues. One can perhaps understand that electric vehicles might be favoured, but hybrids too?

The government recently woke up to hybrids being a bit of a fraud and took away the subsidy available to buyers. Experience showed that some of the returned leased vehicles had never been plugged in.

You may have seen the TV adverts for the new Toyota Corolla “Self charging hybrid”. What’s that? A perpetual motion machine?

The adverts have been banned in several countries for being too far removed from reality. The Toyotas run on petrol and when pressed Toyota UK admitted they can only run for half a mile on electric power, after that it’s petrol driven like any regular Corolla.

Will Bexley follow Kingston in encouraging people to go green? I would doubt it and I’m not sure it is something they should be getting into. It’s bad enough that Sadiq Khan intends to push his Ultra Low Emission Zone out to the Woolwich Ferry from October 2021. Being a blinkered Socialist he has no concept of the commercial impact on London and will care less.

Is Bexley Council doing anything to encourage greener motoring? It has turned its back on it in the past, probably that will continue.

Their new budget allocated £90,000 for electric vehicle charging points next year and nothing thereafter. There are grants available and some companies are willing to install for nothing if offered a decent site. Maybe Bexley Council doesn’t know.

If Sadiq gets his way and makes large numbers of drivers go electric, Bexley will still be doing its best to ensure that they cannot charge while out shopping. Maybe it doesn’t care about the well being of its shopping centres after all.

It’s a subject upon which Greenwich Council appears to know what it is doing. The picture below shows just a small proportion of the total number of charging points available in Greenwich retail areas.

Bexley is simply not going to be able to compete in the future, it would rather stagnate in the past. Hence no tube, no DLR, no Crossrail, no Thames Crossing. Will it ever learn?

No, of course it won’t


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