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News and Comment February 2011

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17 February - Craske can make CPZs disappear, by magic or neglect - click any image for photo gallery (4 images)

CPZ restriction sign CPZ end signIt seems to be simply ages since I last reported on the subject of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) and councillor Peter Craske’s lies and deceptions; but the Freedom of Information Act has been his undoing. Well up to a point, sometimes when things get too embarrassing the council won’t answer the question. Questions submitted under FOI legislation produced confirmation that Craske had lied over the question of accommodation, IT, printing and white lining costs but stony silence on whether a “best value for money process was employed in selecting the current parking permit format?” Should we think the true answer was “No”?

Other questions that were ignored are “Why did the council, in their review, not consider any parking permit regulation other than price?” and “As the Penalty Charge Notice income is stated to be less than the on-street enforcement costs, does the council accept that it may need to address its own cost base?” No answer. Draw your own conclusions.

Craske himself is an intemperate and hot headed man now the subject of a complaint to The Standards Board for England over his unwarranted outburst against a member of the public at a council meeting on 17 November last year and his very different excuses put forward at two subsequent local standards board hearings. That verbal assault was not however his only indiscretion on the evening of the 17th.

The case against Craske’s CPZ price increases has been conducted by Mr. Nicholas Dowling who lives somewhere near Bexley village - and a few others independent of him. Mr. Dowling challenged Craske at the same meeting about financial losses he claims are caused by the CPZ schemes. Craske, flustered, ruddy-faced and losing the argument suddenly shouted out that he would order the CPZ in Nicholas’s road to be removed “tomorrow” to shut Nicholas up. I thought Craske’s promise to be very strange behaviour indeed but then Craske is not exactly the most rational thinker or he might not have been caught lying so often. How could he promise Mr. Dowling that he would order the removal of his CPZ the very next day without consulting all the other residents in his road? But democracy is not something that would ever enter Craske’s thick skull so I suppose he thinks he can do what he likes while most of the electorate lets him get away with it. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and Councillor Craske is appears to be on a mission to prove it.

I think Mr. Dowling is still in correspondence with Craske on the removal of his CPZ. I’ll see if I can extract some up to date info from him.

To illustrate today’s blog I have included a picture of the state of one of the CPZ signs in the borough. It is a legal requirement that a ‘Start’ and ‘End’ appears on both sides of the road at every boundary point of a CPZ. I know of someone who had a fine cancelled by the adjudicator because the signs were only fitted on one side of the road. In Northumberland Heath if you are interested. The sign must meet certain criteria one of which is the red circle, the standard shorthand for traffic signs that have a compulsory element. Where is the red circle on this one? How come that the £36k. the liar Craske says is spent on renewing markings etc. each year doesn’t run to a pot of red paint? Almost certainly because he conjured up that figure when put in a corner to explain his parking permit price hike and forced to attempt to lie his way out of trouble. Does he rue the day? I doubt it, he is surrounded by sycophantic Tories willing to cover up his wrong-doing. Who are they? Ah, councillors Fuller, O’Hare, Cheryl Bacon and Betts but you can be sure that any of the others would have done the same.


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