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News and Comment April 2011

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28 April (Part 2) - Newsreel

The council’s decision to go to the police to try to put a stop to the Bonkers site was a mixed blessing; it provided heaps of free publicity but the repercussions have taken up so much time that actually getting something on line is getting to be problematical. I know I am neglecting some emails and maybe the odd phone call too. If you find yourself a victim of that please don’t be afraid to make contact again, my filing system is probably not perfect.

To try to catch up with some recent events I’ll shall attempt listing them here in a shorthand fashion.

Harassment letter

The policeman who sent the letter was so interested in the case that he went on leave immediately afterwards without referring it to any of his colleagues. He’s not back until next week but before he went said the complainant wanted to keep his identity secret and didn’t say what he found so alarming about the site. We have an ex-police inspector on the Bonkers team who recommended I complained to the Met’s Professional Standards people, so I did. No reply as yet.

An intermediary acting on my behalf extracted the information that the police were worried about threats of physical violence. I am sure you will agree there has never been any so it looks as though the council has lied to the police. It wouldn’t be the first time but that is another story.

In the news

The News Shopper kindly highlighted the council’s accusation of harassment in their pre-Easter issue and returned to the subject this week. The monthly Bexleyheath Chronicle (and its sister papers) gave a little plug to the website this week and the editor dropped me a short email of encouragement. This morning a national newspaper has been sniffing around aspects of our stinking council so as you will appreciate, their stupidity has done them no favours so far.


NoToMob came to Bexley on the strength of my report on Craske’s reign of terror in Blackfen. That in turn came about because a lady from Sidcup (hello Jo) phoned me seeking help after being fined for backing out of SETyres and lingering on the pavement for a few seconds to allow traffic to clear. Jo has every reason to be proud of herself because she eventually had the fine cancelled but her victimisation by Craske has led to this week’s Shopper splashing Notomob across the whole of its front page.

Did you read in the national press at the beginning of this week about Richmond council being found to be operating its gestapo wagons illegally? They didn’t have the correct certification for the cameras. Notomob were involved in that landmark ruling by the Parking and Traffic Appeals Tribunal and I have known for some while that they were investigating Bexley council too for similar certification violations. This morning Notomob have announced on their website that Bexley council may be in the same boat as Richmond. Craske must be even more purple than usual today.

Zero tolerance

During this year I have spoken to and met some of the people whose idea of a good day out is to lovingly tend their allotment. A simple and relaxing way of life one would have thought but Bexley council doesn’t like them. One suspects that has something to do with allotment holders occupying ground which would be worth many millions as building plots but paying a relative pittance in rent. Their devotion to their cause is impressive but their trials and tribulations at the hands of Bexley council I have judged too complicated to be reported on a blog. However an allotment holder was prompted to call me after reading of my harassment letter in the newspapers for he had received something similar, albeit not from the police.

Things came to a head when the Secretary of an Allotment Committee was summoned to the council offices and as she was new to the job she asked if it was OK to bring along an experienced member. She was told that was no problem until she said who was coming along with her. The man in question had some while ago fought the council’s plans to sell off allotment plots, successfully as it happens. but his card has been marked. Bexley council doesn’t want to talk to him and won’t let him represent other allotment holders at a meeting. He has received a letter from the council, the legal department apparently, which says they operate a “zero tolerance policy” and refers to his “behaviour”. It doesn’t say whether his behaviour is bad or good, just that he must modify it. He has asked what he has done wrong but they cannot or won’t tell him. Ironically the Committee Secretary who they are prepared to meet is not even a Bexley resident while the campaigner against allotment sales is. Not being willing to state what residents are supposed to have done to upset the council appears to be widespread policy. And what is wrong with upsetting the council anyway? Are we all supposed to be in such awe of their position that we should worship their every move?

Dare I mention what publicans say about the council officer who looks after licensing? No I had better not, I’ve managed to avoid swear words on this site so far and I don’t plan on starting now - unless a councillor says “tosser” again.

Neighbourhood Watch

Someone drew my attention to the amount of money Bexley council is donating to Neighbourhood Watch, a registered charity. A Watch was formed where I live two years ago. Fewer than 30 people attended an exploratory meeting and that included the organisers and several policemen. Since then I have received one newsletter through my door and that was fully six months out of date - it included some sort of offer which was well past its sell-by date. I don’t know who would donate money to a charity such as Neighbourhood Watch, I would have thought a small subscription for membership would be a better business model. Locally they are not big spenders, their accounts say that over the last five years they’ve had an income of less than £20k. and spent most of it. I don’t know how those figures come about as Bexley council has handed them £7·5k. in the last few months alone. The youve-been-cromwelled website has picked this up in more detail than I have and has sought an explanation via Freedom of Information request. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know there is a link between the Watch’s bosses and Bexley’s Conservative party. The borough appears to be stitched up by one enormous clique.

The Bonkers Team. Who are they?

I’ve mentioned this before but we have a lot of new readers so I will say it again. I, Malcolm Knight, started this website because Bexley council didn’t want to discuss a local issue with me and when they eventually did they showed themselves to be neither truthful nor competent. In the 19 months since then the site has attracted others who have ploughed a similar furrow and now we all meet at least once a week to discuss strategies. We have been accused by a few councillors of being extreme right wingers and I suspect some readers may believe we are Labour supporters. Neither would be accurate as politics doesn’t usually enter our conversation. None of us really care who runs Bexley as long as they live up to its slogan, “Listening to you, working for you”; at the moment that is just a very bad joke.

For the record, the team includes voters for all the parties you are likely to have heard of. I’m the life-long Conservative whose X on any first-past-the-post election ballot paper has always gone in the same place even though I’ve been less than enthusiastic about it in recent years. I thought it would be a record I’d take to my grave unless Bexley council has me bumped off before 2014 but it looks like I am going to have to change. Someone said to me yesterday that Idi Amin could put on a blue rosette in Bexley and he would be elected but that is south Bexley talk. Up here in the north Eleanor Hurt (Lesnes Abbey, £9,543) was elected on a margin of six votes. It would only take another three of my neighbours to be swayed by what they read on Bonkers and it will be bye-bye Eleanor. Personally I’d rather see the back of John Davey (£9,543 + £7,782 from the Bexley Care Trust) any day.


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