Over the past 20 years Bexley has risen from being almost
the lowest taxed borough in London to almost the highest. The present
Conservatives constant boast that the 2009 increase of 2% is the best
achievement for years masks their fundamental dishonesty. 2% may have been the
lowest for a long time but it was still close to being the highest tax hike in London.
I choose to pay the tax in ten monthly installments and do so by old fashioned
standing order. To happily pay by Direct Debit requires trust in the collector
and although I pay most bills that way (Thames Water being the other exception
for the same reason) I will not make the switch from standing order for Bexley council.
After 20 odd years paying Bexley by S.O., in May 2007 the second payment
scheduled for the 3rd of the month didnt go through. On the 24th I
received an extraordinarily rude letter from Bexley council giving me two days
to pay before they took the case to court. You would think their system would
recognise that the likelihood was that after 20 years of dead-on-time payments that
something had gone wrong with the system or that I had died or something. But
no, this is the uncaring, thoughtless and
too often dishonest Bexley council so expect no respect for residents.
The letter did actually give seven days notice of prosecution but it was
postmarked five days after the date on the letter. I paid the bill by debit card
on the councils website the same day and as you might guess, the very next day
my standing order went through too.
Off went an email to Nick Johnson the Chief Executive at the time.
If a utility or bank believes you are behind with a payment their bill or
reminder includes a phone number for customers in difficulty to call to discuss
the best way forward. If Bexley council believes a resident has missed a payment
it gives two days notice of court procedures and penalty charges and 20 years of
punctual payment financing your grossly inflated salaries and wanton waste
counts for nothing. Would you not say that Bexley council displays an
unreasonable, possibly hateful attitude to those who pay your wages?
The reply next day
Thank you for your email to the Chief Executive with regard
to payments to Bexley Council. The contents of your email have been noted.
Yours sincerely Gina Harper
Another useless non-answer from a C.E. paid nearly ten times the average wage.
It probably doesnt help that Bexley has contracted out tax collection to the
company widely known, and with good reason, as Crapita.
You can judge for yourself how evil Bexley council can be by reading
this page. The tone is appalling. Is it really necessary to address residents that way?
Presumably someone at Bexley council has read this page and belatedly come to the conclusion their wording
was less than friendly; by November 2009 the page had been totally rewritten.