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News and Comment February 2017

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16 February - One can dream. Gareth Bacon in charge. Teresa O'Neill on one?

Internal squabbles
Bexley Tories are at war again, two factions at each others throats. Leader Teresa O’Neill is widely seen as the dictator she is and the more reasonable Bexley Conservatives don’t like her methods any more than I do.

Last year the opposing group failed to vote newcomer Rob Leitch to the top job and he finished up being Deputy. An uncomfortable position for an honest bloke and one must sympathise with his decision to leave them to it. If reports are correct he has said there are better things to do with his life than spend it “surrounded by people who hate me”. I hope my informant got that right, but that is what he said.

BaconWhat we need now is a man (Bexley hasn’t got an obvious woman candidate) with experience who understands the meaning of the word democracy. One who is not too tainted with Teresa O’Neill’s dictatorial and occasionally corrupt excesses. Apparently the name being put forward is Councillor Gareth Bacon and it is probably the best choice.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say I like Gareth Bacon but I would be hard pressed to come up with a list of reasons why I don’t. It was him who came up with the recycling regime in 2006/7 which took Bexley to the top of the recycling league table and he did it without the punitive system of fines that too many Councils employ. A far cry from Cabinet Members Sawyer and Craske who believe that cameras, wardens and fines are the answer to everything.

Gareth Bacon featured in the notorious anti-river crossing propaganda but over the past year has been running a high profile campaign against the worst leadership this city has ever known, Sadiq Khan. I found myself warming to his views.

Probably it would be cloud cuckoo land to suggest that if Gareth Bacon became Leader in Bexley Bonkers could pack up and go away but maybe the most despotic aspects of the borough might. Well one can dream.

Police update
There was an Audit Committee meeting last night but I gave it a miss; the Agenda said the public would be chucked out of the only interesting bit. Instead I went to see Elwyn Bryant because time is running out before our meeting with the police in Portcullis House to hear what they are going to do next after uncovering, proving I think, the corrupt relationships that exist in Bexley.

It is nearly six years since someone used their spin doctoring skills to plaster obscenities in my name across the web and memories inevitably begin to fade after such a long time. Elwyn and I needed to go through the paperwork and decide what needs to be said. It will very much depend on what the police say, but I know what my main goal will be. To get an admission that someone at Bexley Council conspired with the police to cease investigating a crime. Or as they put it at the time, to resolve Peter Craske’s situation.

We know that former Chief Executive Will Tuckley was up to his neck in it but I doubt it would be without the connivance of Council Leader Teresa O’Neill. Circumstantial evidence suggests she was behind it. Did she seek help from her friend Boris Johnson too?

Mick Barnbrook, my retired police Inspector friend, says the Directorate of Professional Standards doesn’t formally interview officers for fun and his expectation is that at the very least, serious disciplinary charges should follow. Real criminality seems likely and as soon as it is confirmed the focus will be back on Bexley Council. The goal must be to turn the tables on Teresa O’Neill. Dreaming again?

The more recent complaint that Bexley police did favours for Councillor Massey last year took a peculiar turn last week. My case against the police is that I got nowhere near to harassing the Masseys and the police have been unable to show that I did. It would be different if I had been borderline criminal but they don’t think I was, therefore they are either incompetent or bent.

The Assistant Commissioner was receptive to my complaint but his underlings decided to downgrade it and ask Bexley police to provide an answer. Not just Bexley police in general but the very same named officer about whom the complaint was made!

I suggested to the Assistant Commissioner that he had a word with his Deputy who has been handling what I shall loosely describe as the Craske case. That did the trick!

The pot hole pictured last week was fixed a couple of days later. A couple of readers are very grateful.

The Bonkers Website
I have had two suggestions within the past 24 hours, nearer twelve actually, suggesting changes to the website structure. Yeah, nice idea chaps, but where do you think the spare time is coming from? The whole site is hand written code, none of this Wordpress template nonsense! More dreaming.

Right, that’s it for today. A shopping delivery to East Ham is required. Don’t forget the planning meeting tonight. Building on the Green Belt is on the cards.


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