Brian Barnett who was
tragically killed in a road accident last month was a
gentle soul who would not hurt the proverbial fly; on the other hand I did hear
that he was rather proud of breaking the arm of Roy Whiting when he and Brian
collided during a bike race but he never mentioned that to me. Roy Whiting was
arrested shortly afterwards for murdering eight year old Sarah Payne in West Sussex.
Brian never had a bad word to say about anyone and if he had a fault it was expressing his justifiable dislike for Bexley Council and what he called the political police in terms I occasionally found to be a little obsessive, but who am I to talk?
Councillor Philip Read said that Brian was a racist.
Chris Brown took a leading role in derailing Bexley Council’s plans to build on the green spaces of Wilde Road. Like me, Chris was not particularly political until he found himself up against the ruthless ambitions of a senseless Council. Whilst mounting a defence to their wanton vandalism of a much loved park he took advice from the few Councillors who publicly opposed those plans.
He spent time in the company of both Labour Leader Daniel Francis and his ward Councillor John Fuller.
John Fuller is a Conservative Councillor but for meeting Daniel, Councillor Philip Read called Chris Brown a Labour Troll.
Councillor Philip Read regularly calls me a cretin and sad old blogger. Maybe he has a point. Bonkers keeps limping along mainly in revenge for various Councillors, including Philip Read, reporting me and others to the police for revealing some home truths about their unsavoury activities. However the cretin is Philip Read and he and his colleagues must learn that lying and bullying does not pay.
In April 2018 Poisonous Phil libelled all three of us in a single Tweet despite me taking no part in the relevant Twitter conversation.
Vivienne Waters who is unknown to me thought the Tweet was “awful” and there have been similar comments from Philip Read’s Conservative colleagues. “It is both unnecessary and unacceptable to insult and offend on social media. When, by association, I am implicated, I feel the need to apologise” and more simply "I am mortified".
To me Philip Read’s insults are like water off a duck’s back and a badge of honour; if I am getting to him then that’s what it is all about and it makes continuing with Bonkers worthwhile. On the other hand, that might encourage Councillors of little intellect to continue in the same vein - but it provides another story. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Chris Brown decided to submit a formal complaint to Bexley’s Code of Conduct Committee.
The Code of Conduct Committee in Bexley is basically bent so there was no hope of his complaint being heard. Every complaint submitted this year has been dismissed out of hand by a Council minion before ever going to the Committee.
Chris Brown’s complaint was one of those dismissed out of hand. Bexley Council is absolutely content with having a dishonourable scoundrel within its ranks even if some of his colleagues think otherwise and apologise on his behalf.
Chris’s complaint was based on the Conservative’s pledge for the last election.
“Condemn supporters who engage in intimidatory behaviour.” “Refrain from making abusive or offensive attacks.”
Fine words but in Bexley, utterly meaningless.
Councillor Read was surely banged to rights. An open and shut case if ever there was one. But that would be to ignore Bexley’s track record for dishonesty and shady dealing.
What happened? Well obviously the case didn’t go before the Code of Conduct Committee, that would risk the complaint getting into the public domain and on to Bexley Council’s website.
The rebuttal of the complaint came from Mike Summerskill. I know that I shouldn’t have done so, but when I read it I laughed out loud. The manufactured excuses are ridiculous and are the product of a tortured mind. That mind is not Mike’s, he is a decent man under orders and like all Bexley Council officers in fear for his job security.
The tortured mind will be that of his boss, the temporary Monitoring Officer, Nick Hollier.
I once complained to Nick Hollier that his Legal Team Manager had lied about me in support of the lying Councillor Cheryl Bacon. Four Councillors from both parties wrote to me to confirm that Cheryl Bacon is a liar so Hollier’s excuse manufacturing capacity was tested to the limit.
He turned the whole thing on its head by saying it was me who was "hostile, abusive and offensive" for once using the word lie in a complaint about lying. He warned me that to accuse any of his staff of lying was “unreasonable and could be considered vexatious”.
Mr. Hollier is absolutely the right man to be the Monitoring Officer of a Council renowned for its dishonesty.
What did Hollier tell Mr. Summerskill to say?
The excuse letter goes on to say that Chris Brown was not the Labour Troll to whom Councillor Read referred and that he has no idea who the sad old blogger is. Both claims are preposterous and yet again offer the proof, if further proof were needed, that Bexley Council is a temple of liars.
It is interesting that according to Bexley Council it is perfectly acceptable for its Councillors to behave in an unacceptable manner so long as its victims are not Bexley residents. Someone was desperately scraping the excuse barrel.
According to Nick Hollier, unjustifiably calling someone a racist, a troll or sad is not in any way insulting.
The letter drones on saying that Councillor Read was not in breach of Bexley’s Code of Conduct and his words were neither derogatory or offensive. By Bexley Council’s lamentable standards, maybe not; but anyone with any decency at all, like many of Read’s Conservative colleagues, will recognise him for what he is, a thoroughly obnoxious little man.
I feel for decent people working under duress within Bexley Council who are required to put their name to such drivel. It’s no wonder that the previous Monitoring Officer resigned within a few months of her arrival.
The three pages of Hollier's drivel may be read here.
The pictures below are perhaps self explanatory. Bexley Council doesn’t like people parking off road if they have not paid the exorbitant cost of a resident’s parking permit or paid out a couple of grand for a dropped kerb.
Putting in bollards is Bexley’s preferred form of revenge.
Bollards to you too!
Abbey Wood has been a transport mess since 2013 and whilst Network Rail restricted movement when they had to, Bexley Council inflicts maximum damage because it simply doesn’t care.
For example the four flyover walkways that lead to the railway station have all been out of use since July and for a lot of that time for no discernible reason.
Today they blocked off Godstow Road and Overton Road for a period said to be five weeks - but we know how good Bexley’s time estimates are. The whole job should have finished three months ago and the simple changes due in Gayton Road are running more than ten months late.
Opposite Overton Road the access to Sainsbury’s is being rebuilt half a road width at a time but not so Overton Road where total closure necessitates a detour of very nearly two miles.
If you need to drive out six times a week that’s 100 miles of extra motoring, and there are an awful lot of residents who will suffer.
A large area to the East of the closure will be deprived of a bus service. How many hundreds of old people will be unable to get around?
Maybe it would have been difficult to maintain one way access to Overton Road with traffic light control and I concede that it might be, but the far end of Overton Road is already ‘temporarily’ blocked off. (Photo 3.) If Bexley Council cared one jot for its residents that barrier could have been removed for the duration.
With luck no resident in Overton or adjacent roads will need to call an ambulance this side of Christmas.
Bexley; your caring council.
Bollards to me
There was a similar operation going on in nearby Godstow Road where fortunately the detour is less extreme. The photography did not go entirely to plan.
If you look at the hundreds of photos taken in and around Harrow Manorway you will note that they are usually long shots that do not place any emphasis on the workers.
When that isn’t possible I ask them if they wish to turn away from the camera but quite often they ask to be photographed in a good pose, There are examples of both smiling and thumbs up poses from within the past week or so.
In Godstow Road I was told that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of Conway employees accompanied by a demand to look at the only photo I had taken. Photo 1 here.
I refused the request. There was a problem with the camera, I had filled the memory card and while I was fixing that the man shown here towered over me in a threatening manner. I continued to refuse his request and for some unknown reason he decided that he would bend over in a bottom exposing gesture - but without exposing it.
The man in the digger was not a lot better although he remained in his cab with his hands over his face. What were they scared of?
The Leather Bottle
I had assumed that the Health & Safety investigation into Kulvinder Singh’s reckless demolition of the Leather Bottle in 2016 had long since been kicked into the long grass, but apparently not.
Councillor Francis has updated us on the situation today. The Planning Inspector has agreed that Singh’s plans are unacceptable and confirms that the H&SE investigation is not yet shelved.
Daniel if of course diplomatic about Bexley Council’s involvement. In fact they stood by doing nothing to check Singh’s vandalism and when the H&SE asked Bexley Council for assistance it was refused leaving Daniel, some local residents and me to pass information to the Executive.
Bexley; your caring Council.
The Public Notices published in yesterday’s News Shopper reveal that
Bexley Council is extending its attack upon motorists. There will be slightly
fewer parking spaces available - or times further restricted - around Abbey Wood
and Bexleyheath stations and a few other places. This of course is not news,
most Councils attack motorists as a matter of policy. What might be news is that
I actually went to the trouble of entering my registration details into the News
Shopper’s website and navigated to Page 53.
A year or two ago reading the News Shopper would be the first thing I would do after getting out of bed on a Wednesday morning and later that day grab the paper copy which would come tumbling through the letter box week after week.
Then the Shopper went badly down hill publishing little but froth and Council press releases. Bit by bit I gave up looking and the paper copy would sometimes hit the recycling unread. Then, around a year ago, the paper copy stopped coming. Occasionally I would look at the paper’s website but the moment my pointer accidentally strayed from the main content and the page was replaced by an advert I gave up. No second chances from me.
A couple of weeks ago I asked where my paper copy had gone and was told that it had gone the same way as everyone else’s. No one gets a copy delivered any more. You get yourself into town to a pick up point or you go without.
Most people go without.
So what is the point of Public Notices? Bexley Council pays a princely sum to have them published each week because the law compels them to do so. There have been several cases in Council where, usually it is Deputy Director Toni Ainge, someone claims that the consultative processes were entirely satisfactory because the required notices had appeared in the back end of the Shopper.
It’s not satisfactory but the law is behind the times and there is no easy answer.
In recent months, with funding from the BBC, the News Shopper has become very much better and with Tom Bull as their Democracy Reporter it is rapidly heading back to Linda Piper standards.
There are five news reports in this week’s issue which are directly related to Bexley Council meetings, things that should appear on Bonkers and four of them have but not always as comprehensively. Keep it up Tom so that I don’t have to.