any day today rss twitter

News and Comment February 2011

Index: 200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020

18 February (Part 1) - Reader’s right

Danger, evil genius at work Most days I get an email from a reader, sometimes more than one, but Teresa O’Neill’s appointment to be Boris Johnson’s adviser has provoked quite a flurry. The general theme is why are Bexley’s residents having to foot the bill for our representative to swan around the capital working for the Mayor. It’s a good question; I don’t know the answer but some of these correspondents say they are going to start writing letters. A couple are commenting on O’Neill’s somewhat suspicious reactions to the Ian Clement affair. We will have to await the outcome.

Another email was about libraries. There was an interesting news report in last Monday’s Telegraph about the government being prepared to step in if councils over-did the cuts, councillor Catterall please note. However my correspondent had a different take on library matters. I feel I have blogged quite enough already for this week so I am going to give myself, and you, a rest and merely publish what my correspondent said.

“In the days of yore the staffed counters for issuing/returning books and any enquiries were located close by the library entrance/exit. How very sensible. When they were remodelled some genius in the council decided that with computer technology the customers could issue and return books to the system themselves thereby enabling staff numbers to be reduced and the few that are left to sort out queries could be located as far away from the entrance/exit as possible. Pure genius! (Bexleyheath, Erith, and Blackfen are examples of this and there could be others.)

The consequence is as anyone with an iota of common sense could have foreseen, that the magazines and newspapers are walked out the library doors almost as soon as they are put out. Being retired I used to enjoy browsing the magazines and newspapers but nowadays the only ones available seem to be ethnic ones which very few can understand. How many books and other stock goes missing I wonder because there is no staff presence near the exits? I would not be surprised if it is a lot. All it would take to restore common sense at Bexleyheath library for example would be to put the entrance back to the corner where it used to be. There would then be no need for the ramp/steps as at present since the entrance would already be on the correct level for disabled access. I wonder if the council genius who decided that the entrance/exit should be moved from its previous excellent location has now left the council employ so that the original location could be reinstated? This is how it seems to work with crazy council inflicted so called traffic management or calming schemes viz. wait until the initiator moves on then quietly put back arrangements as they were. How much the whole farce costs is irrelevant of course.”

Thanks Les. Nice one. I hope you have started a trend. Quickest blog production ever.


Return to the top of this page