Yellow notices are going up around town; they say Images are being
recorded for the purpose of public safety and crime prevention. Its a lie.
That is why the taxpayer may have been agreeable to their installation but its
not the use planned for them in future. The small print of the councils cuts
document says that the cameras are to be used for prosecuting yellow line offences. The
justification is to get Value for money from the C.C.T.V. system. That means maximising
revenue but it would be blatantly illegal to admit that so your lying council
doesnt. Almost needless to say, councillor Craske is behind this sly
manipulation of the language. Look at the bigger pictures if you dont believe it.
While I was taking this photo, as is often the case, someone asked me what I was doing and then rushed to his car to show me a Bexley Penalty Charge Notice for having parked in Erith beyond his time. The P.C.N. was timed 13:08, his paid-for ticket pinned to it clearly stated valid until 13:37 on the same day. I told him about the appeals process but he knew about that already. More of our money wasted. Another (Thamesmead, I read it on the ticket) resident harassed and put to a lot of trouble for nothing.
With daily Blog entries becoming the norm it has become far too inefficient to
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entry. The Blog for 2010 has therefore been divided into monthly sections and the 2010
Blog and its rolling month variant will be abandoned after today. (Both were removed
from the site in February 2015.)
You are viewing the latest version, use the menu above to reach older blogs. All post 2009 Blog pages have a new reduced menu system. From any Blog choose Home from the menu to return to the main site. Your Favourites or Bookmarks may need to be amended.
Following my enquiry about the cancellation of The Central Library Roadshow
on Thursday the councils communications officer Mr. Ferry rang to say
it was cancelled because it was felt a lot of people might turn up and went on
to say that the overpaid duo would prefer to meet individuals more casually. You
couldnt make it up could you? They would prefer to engage almost by accident as
it were, with maybe a flustered mother doing her shopping accompanied by a fractious child
and with other things on her mind, than an audience who have prepared themselves with more probing
questions. Considering the calibre of Bexleys senior staff and councillors I can understand their
preference. Listening to you but only if youve nothing to say.
I have received an acknowledgement to my complaint to the local Standards Board about councillor Craskes abuse of a resident at the council meeting on 17th November. In disregard of official guidance Bexley council has rigged their board in favour of councillors and additionally excludes public scrutiny. Its democracy Bexley style again. Those who have trodden this path before say I should assume that the board meets in a lap dancing club, drinks on council expenses, makes racist jokes and rubber-stamps the complaints with rejected and that way I wont be disappointed. But I dont see it that way. It is a win-win situation. Craske went out of his way to humiliate a resident asking a question that had been accepted by the council while the useless chairman, Mayor Val Clark did nothing to prevent it. There was a public audience in excess of 20, nine of whom I have managed to track down who will confirm the incident. It is probably recorded in the News Shoppers reporters notebook too and it is an open and shut case of abuse in contravention of the Code of Conduct. If Craske is found to be innocent I have further evidence of Bexley council corruption and if Craskes behaviour is found to have broken the Code it is another black mark on his record. Win win!
Its hard to get away from the councils principal villain, he has been writing to more residents about the flawed arithmetic used to justify the near tripling by next year of parking permit prices. Another Craske letter that has come my way claims two other complaining residents, one of whom has featured in the News Shopper, agree with him. Why does the idiot think a resident who may never have heard of Nicholas Dowling (the man named in the newspaper) is going to be impressed by the claimed agreement especially when its only the bit we all agree on, that the CPZs should be cost neutral? Nicholas has now been sent a copy of that letter and he, being more of an accountant than I am, says it gives yet more indications of false accounting. One paragraph makes it clear that the parking accounts do not represent the full cost of on street parking. Should the auditors be told? I dont think we have heard the last of this.
not a lot over four months since every household in the borough was
last given one of these extravagant glossy booklets
and once again it isnt only Bexley residents who have received it, we have generously sent it all around Bromley again.
Its right that such information should be available but why cant it be
targeted more accurately and does it really have to be on the best quality
paper? I may have ignored it this time but only yesterday I noticed that the
very same council department is proposing to seriously
curtail library services.
So why does the Courseworks booklet survive in such an extravagant form?
Maybe its because the wheels of bureaucracy grind far too slowly. At the beginning of this month I asked the cost of the ineffective fencing around Lesnes Abbey. The answer is £74,995 which seems quite reasonable compared to the £2,500 I paid just a couple of months ago to replace my own rather more elaborate 90 foot fence. But it remains a waste of money nevertheless. Councillor Gareth Bacon says it was authorised by the previous administration and completed in 2009. Didnt the Labour lot get kicked out in 2006? Councillor Davey made the same excuse last year about the Abbey Road fiasco; all Labours fault apparently.
The Winter 2010 edition of the Bexley Magazine has council Leader Teresa ONeill
saying We will be meeting local people to discuss the issues with them
(Page 8) and an attachment in an email from the Bexley Voluntary Service Council (B.V.S.C)
announces the first of nine Roadshows was to be in Bexley Central Library from 10.30 a.m.
to 12.30 p.m. yesterday. This ties in with information put out by the library over the
last week or so and confirmed by them in a telephone enquiry. So I took myself along
to listen to what Will Tuckley the C.E.O. and the Leader might say and more particularly what residents
Arriving just before 10 - because that is the time advised by the library - I saw nothing out of the ordinary happening. By five past there was a small audience awaiting the entrance of the expensive pair but soon afterwards the phone rang and a librarian apologised that the Roadshow was cancelled. Someone asked why and I drew the short straw to call the councils communications office to enquire what was going on.
There was no Roadshow it was explained, it was something that they had considered and may at some time go ahead, but nothing was planned so far. One must wonder how B.V.S.C. came to hear about it and why a cancellation message come from the office I was speaking to just ten minutes earlier if there was no Roadshow to cancel? Ah, said the communications officer, you had better speak to my boss who is out. So I left a phone number and at the time of writing no explanation has been forthcoming. Im reluctant to use the word lie on this blog yet again but something odd is going on even if its just a case of stage fright.
The Roadshows are probably a charade by a listening council that would like to claim that it called on the public to respond and no one turned up. The B.V.C.S. email lists eight more dates across the borough. The one in Blackfen library scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday 14th January, 2011 should be interesting; the shoppers and traders there that I have spoken to are not exactly brimming with praise for the council and all its wicked works.
Something else that Leader ONeill says in the latest magazine is Weve worked hard to ensure that as many of the savings as possible involve cutting our costs and improving how we work. (Page 3.) Is this the same Teresa ONeill who allowed Craske to hike up the cost of a £35 parking permit to £100 in 2011 without once looking at why it costs £250 a permit to issue them? Is it the same Leader who advocated cutting the number of councillors for the benefit of a newspaper headline but failed to discuss the issue at the council meeting? And is it the same inadequate council Leader who sanctioned the C.E.O.s £200,000 plus annual salary and refuses to allow those that fund it to raise the issue? Cuts are necessary, but they should be applied across the board and that includes senior staff and politicians. These people are hypocrites primarily interested in their own well being and income.
was the scene last night when 100 people turned up to hear John Hemming-Clark
speak about the closure of Queen Marys A&E. John stood at the General
Election as the Save Queen Marys candidate but was out-manoeuvred by
the Conservative candidate who promised to keep it open - but didnt.
Despite condemning the closure no Bexley councillor bothered to turn up, thereby more or less proving my contention that most of them lacked any sincerity at their meeting a month ago and were merely going through the motions in the hope of looking good.
On the bus home I spoke to a nurse who explained to me how the knock-on effect of losing A&E was causing wards to be closed and reeled off a list of four or five. She said it was estimated that 30,000 patients a year would be turned away and some of them would undoubtedly die as a direct result of management decisions. The management and Streather in particular were all liars. With less than two weeks notice she had been told she must transfer to either the Princess Royal in Farnborough or the Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich. Since we were on a 229 heading for Thamesmead I was surprised to hear her say she had opted for the P.R.U. and asked why. Because you hear so many dreadful things about Q.E.H. she said. I can only agree and if you have half an hour to spare you can read more.
Doctor Streather and Sawicka were both prepared to put their names to letters much of which were pure fiction and showed them to have falsified their records. When that was proved they blamed an unnamed doctor who could no longer be located. How convenient. That doctor was excellent and the failures were wholly administrative but Streather and co. were only able to blame others for their failures.
impeccable timing a leaflet announcing the Temporary changes at Queen Marys
dropped through my letterbox yesterday evening. It is graced with the emblem of the Plain English
Campaign and true enough, it is completely clear; it says the A&E will temporarily
close and my dictionary defines Temporary as effective for a time only; not
permanent. So thats OK then, surely there must be a plan for re-opening A&E?
Sadly there is not, the health authoritys chief executive, Dr. Streather, admitted
as much when questioned by the councils Health Committee on 21 October.
Maybe the leaflet is not so Plain English after all. Maybe no publicly funded
executive is capable of telling the whole truth.
The entire six page leaflet may be read with the aid of the scroll bar.
predicted I took myself along to Blackfen yesterday, a place I had never set
foot in before. Ive driven through it a few times but never stopped; which is
maybe a good thing because that could have earned me a parking ticket but it
also means that I have missed out on a little shopping centre which I found more
interesting than the council favoured Bexleyheath Broadway. One has to wonder why that
single shopping centre is so honoured by Bexley council, probably it is
self-interest as their staff can simply cross one road to do their own shopping.
I went to Blackfen because of persistent reports of harassment of shoppers and traders alike by councillor Craskes gestapo team and when the word got around that I was there to report it here I was given free tea, offered a free meal in the cafe and use of their toilets; there being none available in the street. I obtained so much material that most of it will be held over for another day but meanwhile here is a brief summary of the situation.
There used to be a free council car park behind the pub, but the council sold it off leaving the 40 plus commercial premises to the east of the centre of town with just seven on-street parking places; for which a charge of 40 pence for half an hour has now been introduced. Are any other of the borough’s small shopping communities made to suffer in this way? Selling off parking spaces is reminiscent of Craskes stupidity in Sidcup. It seems that Bexley council is intent on damaging businesses. Weve seen it recently in Albany Park and in Pickford Lane. It was narrowly avoided in Nuxley Road, Sidcup is a disaster zone and now it is Blackfens turn. Councillor Peter Craske the architect of all this misery must be a truly evil man.
I quite often take a look at the blog
of our man at the London Assembly and I usually find myself in broad agreement with it. However on the 17th
November he came up with these words of wisdom
100% Legal - How to avoid paying speeding and parking fines
Ive just discovered a great way to beat the system and not pay speeding or parking fines. Just follow these simple steps to avoid handing over your money to them! The best thing, it is 100% legal, they cant touch you.
How to avoid speeding fines: Dont drive faster than the speed limit.
How to avoid parking fines: Dont park illegally or over-stay you (sic) allotted time. There you have it! Simple!!!!!
Perhaps I should declare an interest in case readers get the wrong idea. I gained my full driving licence in 1962 after taking six one hour lessons - it was relatively easy back then. Over the following 48 years I have had no accidents, no speeding tickets and no parking fines. I try to observe clever dick James advice but to say it is simple as he has is stupid. Does your speed tend to creep up down Gravel Hill (where there is a speed camera) with a 229 bus up your backside? Of course it does so its not always easy to comply with the law. Do you expect to get a parking ticket while driving if your wheel clips the kerb or if you are held in a traffic queue that extends back to a bus stop? Of course not. But that is what happens in Bexley. Later today if the weather is half decent I shall take a few buses to one of these sites of injustice and see if I can make a report about it for later this week.
James. Stop being so simplistic. In a just society you may be right but please recognise that many of us have to live in a borough that plays scant regard to justice.
Talking of over-staying your time, I have seen the evidence of how Lidl use number plate recognition technology to time cars into and out of their car parks. One unfortunate visitor had his pocket picked while at the nearby cash machine before doing a big shop in Lidl, losing not his money but his keys. The theft and reporting it caused him to be 115 minutes in the Lidl car-park when their limit is an hour and a half. Result : a £90 fine.
There isnt much from me today because I have decided to use my spare time on
a letter to Bexley councils Standards Board. Just because Ive been told it
will be a waste of time because it is rigged in favour of Conservative
councillors is not a good reason to accept defeat; and who knows, I may be
pleasantly surprised. The basis of my complaint will be that Craske deliberately
misled the council and public with his claim that there was no £4m.
contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff
when the councils website says there is and he was just playing with words
over the subtle difference between a £4m. contract and a contract which may be worth £4m.
The fact he rounded off his denial with a personal attack on the resident who
raised his concerns about the £4m. will not go unmentioned.
if the councils postbox gets loaded with complaints about the purple pygmy then so does mine. Within the last couple of days Ive been told of someone who bought a residents parking permit by plastic card without realising the price had doubled and immediately requested a refund. If you do that in a shop the transaction goes back through the card terminal, but not in the supremely well organised Bexley council. They couldnt do that. It had to be recorded on paper and a cheque had to be sent through the post, at what extra cost goodness only knows.
Another resident gave up on the permit system because she only used hers when driving to the nearest shopping area and local friends which reminds me of my similarly disabled daughters complaint. She says that councils rarely say if her blue badge is valid in residents bays and without guidance on the web assuming it is is dangerous. Almost needless to say, Newham passes that test and Bexley doesnt.
Finally, one of these two Craske complainers thought that bringing misery to Bexley was his full time job. It is not as this website will reveal. You would think someone as deeply unpopular as Peter Craske would be a little more careful about what he allows his employer to say about him. the Golden Jubilee Bridges which cross the Thames between Waterloo and Charing Cross stations – bridges he crosses every day on the way to and from the office. Dark winter evenings, a low parapet and all that murky swirling water below. Careful Peter, get that bit removed. You dont want the 0.92% of the electorate who put a cross against your name at the last election to have to look elsewhere do you?
0.92%. A figure sent to me by a supporter but not checked.
This site runs on hand-written html code; I dont like the imposed
uniformity of blogging software and doing it myself allows it to be Google
friendly. It takes time but sometimes pays quick dividends. Councillor
Philip Reads diatribe about
predominantly black Christians which was on line three
hours after he delivered it was indexed by Google six hours later. Try a search
for Philip Reed Bexley and it is top of the list. John Watson followed suit
with his site
and within forty hours of its launch was on page 5 of Google with a simple
Bexley council search. Bonkers started life on page 9 before it got to sit
under the councils official site. Three times in the last week people have said
to me Bexley council must really hate/loathe you. I dont know;
understanding twisted minds is not my forté, but I
dont suppose I have many fans there.
Reads tirade against the Labour party and religious groups was in my opinion completely out of order, why did the Chairman, councillor and mayor Val Clark not put a stop to it? What is she there for? Why, for that matter did she allow Craske to let rip at a member of the public and choose, if you can believe what is on the councils own website, to avoid answering his question by pulling a nonsense out of thin air? Whilst I feel he should be made to answer for his outburst I am informed by those in the know that a report to the Standards Board would be a waste of time. Why? Because the council has it totally under its own control.
The soon to be abolished Standards Board for England offers guidance to the effect that local Boards may be formed of a majority of lay-members, people without vested interests, not councillors who will protect their well paid own. Bexley of course ignored that and has a Standards Board which is far from balanced and impartial. I am finding it very hard to find aspects of Bexley council which are wholly honest and not tinged with corruption.
The code of conduct for Bexley councillors says that they must not bully any person; intimidate or attempt to intimidate any person who is or is likely to be a complainant, witness, or (be) involved in the administration of any investigation or proceedings. Craske clearly failed that paragraph and them sat stony faced and deep purple from hairline to double chin throughout the meetings 150 minutes.
Mr. Bryant, the resident publicly insulted by Craske on Wednesday evening has been in touch with a link
that answers my question. Has Craske been very economical with the actualité about there being no £4m. contract
with Parsons Brinckerhoff or did the newspapers get everything wrong? Judge for yourselves.
councils press release (see page 6) and in case that ever disappears Ive extracted the
to be read here. Nuff said.
Questions from the public are written down and not read out at the meeting which is fair enough but question No.2 was answered so quickly that I was still making notes about question 1 when we moved on to question 3. From the agenda I see that question 2 asked the leader of the council by how much the council will be reducing remuneration of employees and councillors in view of the financial restraints and how much such reductions will save annually. I am informed that the leader, Teresa ONeill, merely answered that there will be no reductions. Cant say Im surprised; just because the Prime Minister and his cabinet took a pay cut and a five year wage freeze doesnt mean our local fat-cats will act responsibly too. Things have also gone very quiet about her proposal to cut the number of councillors. A good headline for the newspapers but just idle talk. Im still making up my mind about leader Teresa ONeill but at present I feel that even with the paucity of talent on display at Bexley council they could have made a better choice.
The council launched its public consultation on the cuts yesterday. It got a mention on Wednesday evening: councillor Ball for example thought there was a danger that residents might give biased answers. Maybe he was suggesting their answers should be disregarded, I dont know, but obviously consultations of this nature are likely to be from individuals and opinions will likely be their own and to that extent biased. Does the council have no one capable of making a balanced judgement? Councillor Catterall perhaps who was the only representative of the people who stood out on Wednesday by saying something that got straight to the point.
I have been asked my opinion of the councils consultation procedure, sorry Tom, I really havent had the time to get to grips with it yet, but when I visited Bexley Talks 24 hours after its launch I was put off by the need to register and nobody had joined its forum. At 5 a.m. this morning the situation hadnt changed so I thought I should do my civic duty. Bexley-is-Bonkers is now registered. Maybe it will help me answer Toms enquiry - on the other hand my first visit took me to a bad link. Whoops!
Last nights full council meeting could very nearly be described as a
civilised affair. Self-congratulatory, sycophantic, occasionally tedious, yes; but
civilised - except for a couple of Conservative clowns who were intent on
lowering the tone.
The meeting started with a long and somewhat repetitive petition by a resident of Christchurch Avenue, Erith who said that her road had become a dangerous rat-run for speeding lorries which had been involved in several accidents and demolished a few parked cars. Several councillors asked questions and 20 m.p.h. limits, speed humps and one-way systems were all discussed; one could sense another Craske inspired road fiasco looming but fortunately councillor Catterall was able to see the wood for the trees. He alone asked if the root of the problem was the constant queue of traffic at the recently installed roundabout at the end of Fraser Road and the consequent search for a short-cut by frustrated drivers. The petitioner agreed that it was. Do we really have only one councillor with sufficient intellect to analyse a simple problem?
The discussion disclosed that the fish roundabout in Erith is to be extended but no details were forthcoming.
Next a Mr. Bryant asked if the awarding of a contract to the international transport consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff would result in a reduction in the councils own transport staff - the people who design roundabouts that cant be navigated and roads that are condemned by international experts. One would certainly hope so. But councillor Craske merely replied No because there was no contract. So either he lied last night or lied at an earlier meeting or the reports in local newspapers were all wrong. As his answer was so short, Craske found time to direct a stream of personal insults at Mr. Bryant designed to humiliate him. Craske earned himself well-deserved jeers from the audience. A clear case for the Standards Board I would have thought.
Another resident, Mike Barnbrook drew attention to the statement by the Minister for Communities, Eric Pickles, that councils didn’t need both a full time Leader and a Chief Executive. Bexleys Leader merely said that the government Minister was wrong. I wouldnt be at all surprised if Mr. Pickles is informed of Teresa ONeills opinion.
Next up was Nicholas Dowling with a question to Mr. Craske about his price hike for residents’ parking permits. Craske began with a cheap jibe directed at Mr. Dowling and then launched into a long lecture on the state of the country’s finances caused by the Labour Government. Well I think everyone knows all that, what we wanted to hear is why it costs £250 to issue (along with overheads) a single permit and what he was doing to bring those costs under control. But as is to be expected from this clown, he didnt get near the heart of the matter. Filibustering was the only game he knew and the allotted time expired with Mr. Dowlings question remaining unanswered. The brainless sheep, both Conservative and Labour, remained silent.
Bexleys 280,000 residents are allowed a total of one whole hour per year to formally question councillors and they want to close down other avenues for questions. Nigel Betts attempt to crawl up councillor Campbells backside with a question about curtailing Freedom of Information requests was not asked for lack of time. Campbell was the only Conservative male member not wearing a tie. Rumour has it that it had been used for gagging or hanging the whistleblower who was abused by him this week.
Finally there was an interesting political debate on the parties approach to churches in the borough, especially the new ethnic establishments. Im not entering into that debate but it was noted that at one stage councillor Philip Reed launched into an attack on the Labour opposition and via some ill-judged musical metaphors called them rabble-rousers who had misled residents. Maybe the Christians and other religious groups in the borough will take note that Mr. Reed believes them to be a rabble. While ranting Mr. Reed failed to see that it was he who was trying to arouse a rabble and was guilty of committing every debating sin for which he was criticising councillor Ball and co. What a cretin!
I first came across the name John Watson
at the end of September and subsequently bumped into him at a council meeting. He is a
man with a legal background who has accumulated a huge dossier of papers going back
several years - decades even - about wrong-doing at Bexley council. I asked why
he hadn’t put it on the web so residents could judge for themselves whether we
have a council run by crooks and criminals or not. He said he wanted to but had
been let down by someone he engaged to help with the technicalities, so I
encouraged him to do it himself. It is at a very early stage at present
but should expand rapidly. The
went on-line today. I fully expect
to nick bits from it from time to time and in all probability this site will continue
with its News of the World tabloid style and Johns will be nearer
The Daily Telegraph Expenses Files which did so much damage to politicians in
Back to the every day stories of councillor folk; The News Shopper reports that traders in Crayford are having much the same trouble with Craskes gestapo as the one reported here two days ago. This time councillors Seymour and Lucia-Hennis are quoted as saying they have every sympathy. Well that is nice to know as traders are forced to the wall by Craskes policies. Councillor Seymour said he would be asking the parking contractors to adopt a more proportionate response. Why doesnt Seymour have a word in the blue faced midgets ear and tell him straight that his policies are turning shopping areas into ghost towns? For the time being I shall assume that these two councillors have their hearts in the right place even if their heads arent fully engaged. When their words prove to be hollow you will read about it here.
There will be no new revelations today because my time over the past 48 hours
has been fully taken up with assisting one fellow resident to the detriment of
others who I should have got back to but havent. Sorry about that but the other
job has become urgent and I think it is worthwhile. Bexley council will really
really not like it and a lot worse is to come. I shall be very disappointed if
the first of many covers cant come off this project by lunchtime tomorrow.
Apologies for the atrocious pun hidden in this message.
A correction. The letter to Craske about his
parking permit flawed arithmetic
dated 1st November wasn’t sent until the 5th and I assume re-dated, which means
that the ultimatum doesnt expire until next Friday or even Monday. As of today
he hasnt found the courage to reply.
Ive realised there is way that the council could kill this website other than by going straight. Thats to keep me on my telephone hot line all day so I cant get near a computer. Yesterday an as yet unsubstantiated tale was of a business with a forecourt that has, along with its customers, received more than 1,300 parking penalties. Apparently a gang of Craskes vultures stand around watching him and wait for vehicles to come over his boundary with the footpath, however briefly, and slap a ticket on it. He is slowly being driven out of business because his customers are afraid to return and I have spoken to one who wont. This is one of a long line of instances where the council in general and Craske in particular do all they can to damage local businesses - wasnt it the Bexley Times that recently pointed out that the council handed out very few contracts to local small businesses?
If my informant is correct this particular business has taken legal action against Bexley council. Maybe it is for parking their gestapo permanently outside his premises, but perhaps that is wishful thinking on my part.
I have heard also from a lady who phoned Craske about the hike in her parking permit price but he doesnt like to talk. She said she didnt renew hers and made other arrangements. When the council tried to make such arrangements for my road they consulted residents and the general view was that if the council wanted restrictions then it was probably a bad idea. But if the council professes democracy in this area presumably the same democracy would allow the withdrawal of the residents zones on request. On Craskes figures this would save the council a lot of money. In reality of course they wont do it because CPZs are a nice little earner that helps fill the expenses pot. Someone should try calling Craskes bluff on this one. Offer to save him a lot of money and watch him squirm.
One interesting telephoned suggestion was to set up an I hate Craske button on this site which automatically sent Craske an email saying how much he is despised. Im not sure I want to stoop to that level and I suspect he would ask the IT department to block this sites IP address. Thanks for the suggestion sir, and sorry to hear he has been attacking you too. If you want to see him in the flesh the meeting at the Civic Centre on Wednesday 17th at 7.30 p.m. should provide an opportunity. You wont be allowed to speak to him but you can stare and wonder how such a small man can contain so much evil.
To say I am not an enthusiast for the E.U. is something of an understatement but
when I walk along Abbey Road
as I did yesterday with the chairman of its road
and vehicle safety committee and hear him say I just cant believe how anyone
could be so stupid as to design this I feel it is not entirely worthless. He
went on to express his annoyance at anyone who would use one of his companys
reports to justify the idiocy when it does no such thing. This particular idiocy
was signed off by Craske of course but are any of his fellow scoundrels any better?
Researching and filtering the news that flows in my direction is becoming a full-time job but one recent piece immediately stood out as straight-forward and easy to publish, namely that Bexleys wish to clamp down on Freedom of Information requests has arisen again. Last time it was councillor Campbell who was worried about the tales of incompetence and wrong-doing that were getting into the public domain; though he claimed he was only worried about the expense. Campbell and the rest of the disreputable crew should realize that the way to stop residents questioning their every move is to be as transparent as they promise to be and to stop hiding things from auditors, coming to the attention of the Crown Prosecution Service, breaking their own codes on whistleblowing and generally feathering their own nests. Stop being furtive, greedy and stupid and this website dies.
I thought councillor Campbell had come to his senses over F.O.I. requests but if he has the virus has spread to one of his tawdry mates, one Nigel Betts, Conservative councillor for Falconwood & Welling. He reckons that most of this information is freely available on the Bexley website; well if it was - and a bit easier to find - that would be fine, but I have yet to see an on-line reference to which items must be hidden from the auditors and which need not be and the itemised costs associated with parking enforcement which would expose Craskes email to residents who queried the new charges he imposed as the falsehood it is.
It is all of course a put up job between Campbell and Betts. In the list of questions to be asked at next Wednesdays meeting, Betts is on record as asking Campbell about the vast number of F.O.I. requests certain gentlemen have been making. So its an attempt to resurrect the silly scheme to shame those who ask questions. Incidentally if these gentlemen have put in a vast number of F.O.I. requests, then I have a vast number of fingers on my hands.
Not all councillors are tarred with the same brush, one told me he thought the council should be held to account, but maybe he is the one with nothing much to hide. Those that have may wish to note that the number of F.O.I. requests will inevitably increase as more people join in opposing a useless council. Maybe the man who deals with them will be grateful to the gentlemen who ensure that his job is less likely to be cut; and presumably he is not so daft as to proceed with an F.O.I. request for information that is readily available on the web. If he isnt then Betts is even more stupid than he looks and if councillor Campbells reply to councillor Betts at next Wednesdays meeting is a lie it will be reported here within an hour or two of him lying. The gentlemen referred to will all be there watching and listening.
was another case in this weeks News Shopper of Bexleys rotten council
using a lie detector against a resident living alone
and it reveals that the operation is contracted to a west Midlands based
company. Interesting because you and I are generally prohibited from recording
phone calls without the other partys permission but as I understand it the
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which so many councils routinely abuse
allows councils to do it - but not a third party. Since when has a resident
living alone been a potential terrorist anyway?
I still dont understand why anyone would agree to let the council talk to them about the issue, especially after all the adverse publicity. Despite all the restrictions on freedom introduced by Blair and Brown I do not recall a law that says it is illegal not to answer a phone call. My phone is fixed so the bell doesnt ring if it doesnt recognise the incoming number. Maybe that is why I am still waiting for my lie-detector test.
When I attended the cabinet meeting on cuts one of the expenses pot raiders took responsibility for this Nazi-like attack on residents and luckily for him he was facing away from me and I didnt catch his name; otherwise I would have had a new entry in the Rogues Gallery. Next Wednesday I shall be at the full council meeting with my note book and a report will be posted here within hours of it ending.
The pictures of the Wickham Lane roundabout taken at 2 p.m. yesterday are deceptive. There were long queues along each of the three entry roads but no traffic at the roundabout because of the long intervals between gos that widely spaced three-way lights necessarily entail. Its not apparent from the photos and the ones taken two months ago what has been changed. The first photo may show a wider carriageway but it may be an illusion caused by the wide-angle lens. The roundabout appears to be the same size; maybe it has been moved. There was nothing going on at the site, it was pouring with rain at the time and you can hardly blame the Conway guys for packing up early on a wet Friday afternoon. So inconvenience to drivers by the thousand continues daily plus the near-by residents who are suffering road closures, presumably to prevent rat-running but reducing access to their own homes too. Don’t forget this wasn’t Bexley councils fault at all, I know because I read it on their website.
Something else that hasnt made much progress recently is the residents parking permit saga. A letter was sent to Craske 13 days ago picking apart his false monetary claims and giving him 14 days before legal action was to be commenced. Last I heard there had been nothing but a stony silence.
is a rather curious entry on the councils
list of Listed Buildings
published last month; it is for The Harrow Inn on Abbey Road, curious because it was
demolished in 2009, a victim of the Labour government allowing imposition of
full business rates on unoccupied buildings and Bexleys avarice in promptly
applying it. We now have the bomb-site shown here. What is needed is a nice
modern building, something elegant and graceful to transform this run-down area
of town. Something light and airy, curved to fit the site and maybe lots of glass.
Well it could have been like that but Bexley council turned down the plans. Why? They said the site was too noisy.
There are approved standards for noise in buildings and noise levels are graded into four bands. The Harrow Inn site fell into the third category and a building there would need careful and expensive sound insulation; the developer knew that and employed the services of a leading specialist in the field, but the council was intransigent and said it only approved buildings in areas graded in the first two noise categories. Like far too much of Bexley councils operation that wasnt strictly truthful. The new flats at 16-72 James Watt Way, Erith, when measured with approved equipment were 3db louder than Abbey Road at its worst and fell into noise grade 4. Not surprising with a six lane road on one side, five on another and the railway running alongside. Those flats were approved by Bexley council just before the Abbey Road ones were rejected and when challenged Bexley council claimed not to know anything about the earlier approval. Very suspicious.
My experience of making a planning application is limited and not in Bexley. It was turned down in direct contravention of The Town and Country Planning Act which ensured the decision was eventually overturned. When I subsequently discussed the matter with my solicitor he said Did you offer them something?. On enquiring what he meant he repeated the phrase and added, you know; some money. †
I have obtained a plan of the proposal for Knee Hill (see gallery) and when you next see a rat scurrying across this derelict site and wonder why it is left as it is, blame Bexley council. It could have been home to smart new flats and helped bring the area up and be good for local businesses, but Bexley council imposed a noise rule they arbitrarily and inconsistently apply. At least there was no under-hand business, well not at the Abbey Road site anyway.
† Mr. Wood, Clifford Cowling & Co. Fleet, Hants. Hart District Council.
I was rather taken aback to see this image (this copy is slightly blurred but you will get the idea) on
another local site (and on Google Images) a
couple of weeks ago, maybe it is because I dont know the new Conservative M.P. for Old Bexley
and Sidcup. Im not usually squeamish when it comes to descriptions of our local politicians;
I have no difficulty labelling Craske a liar, because he has a long history of lying, most
recently over the issue of parking permits,
and similarly he can be called vindictive because of his reaction to Felix Akeles mistake
but there is something slightly sinister and shocking about Brokenshires tattooed image. For me it is reminiscent of the time when you
still saw elderly people in the street with tattooed numbers from their days under the Nazis. Bexley
council may believe Nazi-like practices are acceptable but it doesnt mean those
opposed to their regime should stoop to their level.
Mr. Brokenshires claim to fame is that he said if elected he would protect Queen Marys Hospitals A&E and maternity services. As we have seen, he allowed the hospital management to get one over him, and closure of both is imminent. Goodness knows how Queen Elizabeth Hospitals A&E will cope: when I had the misfortune to be a patient at QEH last January the medical care was decent enough while it lasted but the administrative stampede to get me dosed up with morphine and out into the night before the four hour target with no money and no friends on hand to assist me in my drugged up state I wouldnt wish on anyone, Craske included.
Ive less sympathy with Brokenshires stance on fat cat council salaries. When one of his constituents asked him if he supported the Prime Ministers cut and freeze on ministerial salaries and the call by various ministers that local government senior executives should take the same path he couldnt actually bring himself to say that he agreed, preferring to shilly-shally around and imply it wasnt his business. He said there was a need to reduce the senior salary budget, thatll be posts not salaries, but why cant he just say he agrees with his senior government colleagues? The correspondence may be read here.
weeks ago I attended an OFCOM sponsored meeting of London bloggers. You may wish
to look at this 52 second video by the coordinator of that meeting which neatly sums up what the OFCOM
meeting was about. He speaks of websites having significant impacts on neighbourhoods and what the
implications are for local councils. He says websites such as this one are bringing people together
and delivering on the governments Big Society. Click the image to view the video.
Well Bonkers has certainly brought people together but Bexley councils stated wish to be open and transparent is too far removed from reality to provide any optimism for an outbreak of honesty and common sense in this neck of the woods. But its not all in vain, some of the people brought together are planning a website to complement Bonkers that will cover the sort of skullduggery that has been merely hinted at here. Whether anything will come of it I have no idea, I hope they have a lot of spare time on their hands.
Something whispered in my ear suggests that councillor Campbell has been active today and I suspect is busy flouting the councils stated policy on a particular subject. He is the man who doesnt like Freedom of Information applications and it is not hard to see why when he presides over so much wrong doing. With any luck there will be more information leaking out - or maybe the police will take matters out of his hands.
website began as a protest against Andrew Bashfords attempt to bamboozle me
with lies and lame excuses over the changes made to the B213 in 2009. He went
silent when he was caught out; as did councillor Davey who was exposed as two
faced. Lying is the norm at Bexley council but deeper corruption is not far
under the surface. I have long been aware of the
written by an ex-Bexley council employee, but I cant make much of it
here because I dont know whether it is true or not. Whilst I am always ready to
expose Bexley council for what it is and to paint an unflattering picture of their
constant failures, reports must be absolutely factual. I am rather proud of the
comment from a very senior council insider; received a while ago it is true,
that he/she thinks bexley-is-bonkers is scrupulously
accurate and if only the press was as scrupulous. That is why
I havent as yet been able to make much use of information from whistleblowers;
its very difficult to check its veracity and its not impossible that it could be a
set-up by Bexley council eager to trap me into making a mistake they could capitalize on.
One or two things do check out. I have seen the papers that show that facts relating to Ian Clements expenses and the credit card that everyone claimed not to know about, were to be “hidden from the auditors”. And I have seen the papers that show that Bexley police refused to accept a complaint from a member of the public and that the responsible officer was subsequently admonished by his superiors at Scotland Yard for attempting to protect the council. And I have seen the papers that reveal that the only reason Bexley council has not been prosecuted is because a prosecution is deemed not to be in the public interest. I have also noted that when certain facts were presented to the councils deputy director of legal services she promptly resigned and no one at the council will talk about it. Strange coincidence that.
The press has reported that down at the Bexley Thames Innovation Centre (TIC) in Thamesmead, wholly owned and funded by Bexley council, the manager, Richard Edwards is on bail after being arrested for having indecent images of children on his computer. Now let me say straight away that it is all too easy for someone to stitch up the manager in this way, so he is innocent until proven guilty, right? But all is not happy down at the Centre and staff are frustrated and want to talk. I can say nothing about the case against Mr. Edwards for legal reasons, but the information I am getting from sources that have convinced me must be genuine is that mail going through TIC has been intercepted and money has mysteriously disappeared from the accounts of a business within TIC. Not just petty cash either, more than £100,000 has been mentioned, and the allegation is that the money has found its way via close personal relationships to Bexley TIC tenants.
As if that isnt enough the scandal is said to extend to drug dealing, and not just dealing, importing the stuff too. So why would a whistleblower want to leak such a story to me and not report it to the bosses? Could it be because they are bent too? The current whistleblower says the last one at the Innovation Centre was summarily sacked by the very manager now under suspicion of paedophilia. No wonder councillors and executives alike are so reluctant to speak to members of the public. One whose responsibilities extend to the TIC is already on record as wanting to gag enquirers. Probably they are all scared stiff of what might be revealed next.
weekend a friend nearly got ensnared by the parking gestapo
after unwittingly driving into a parking bay in The Broadway and straddling almost invisible
white lines. I didnt have my camera with me at the time and those taken later after dark didnt
show how poor the lines are. Maybe the one on the left will do the trick. Many years ago it may have
said DISABLED. Just a car length away was a Bexley council gestapo car, they like to call
them MICE which I assume has something to do with them being operated by rodents. It didnt seem to
be doing anything with its spying equipment, which is just as well because no warning camera sign was
in evidence anywhere and without it MICE operations are illegal. The odd thing about the situation
was that either the gestapo car or the one in front of it had squeezed into an already occupied
single bay as is clearly shown in the third image in the gallery.
Incidentally, my friend has said my description of the original incident is far too generous towards Craskes gestapo. They did, he said, give him the OK to leave his car where it was, but he didnt really trust them. Quite right too. No one should trust Bexley council and tomorrow I will reveal more about just how corrupt our council probably is.
I believe there are 24 people at Bexley council employed on traffic planning and
road design and they cant seem to get anything right. My friend who chairs an
E.U. committee on the same subject thinks they are either malicious or
incompetent. I suspect it is the staff that is incompetent and the Cabinet
Member for Transport who is malicious - yes we are back to the utterly useless
With 24 idle minds to keep occupied it is more than likely that their primary objective is to look busy and protect their jobs. One ploy is to make a change which is silly and after a few accidents are caused, to undo it all again. Weve seen the tactic employed in Brampton Road. Two jobs instead of the dole queue and a few dents in a few cars, maybe the odd stay in hospital. It all makes sense if you are incompetent and unemployable outside local government. Currently these imbeciles are obsessed by roundabouts. Extend the pavement, make them difficult or near impossible to get by and maybe end up with something impassable. Incidentally, have you seen their excuse for the five months of chaos at Wickham Lane? They blame their design consultant and credit themselves with finding the problem. So who approved the consultants design? Craskes department. And if they are so damned clever how come their inspectors didnt notice the developing problem until the roundabout was almost ready for use? Well not by buses obviously, but the inspectors didnt notice until it was far too late.
The first two pictures above are from their seven week operation to do not a lot - but it is another job for the boys - to a roundabout in Thamesmead. But it isnt a big deal compared to the one at Ruxley corner. I wandered down there to see how things had progressed since my visit on 25th July. There was lots to see and marvel at. A couple of locals asked what I was up to and filled me in on some of the history. One was even a reader of bexley-is-bonkers. It had been recommended by a friend she said. But the blog doesnt have the space for a comprehensive Ruxley story, so you can get a slightly expanded version by clicking any image for the photo gallery or go to a brand new section listed under the Roads index.
The last time I reported on the cost of residents parking permits was
two weeks ago when Craske had gone into
ostrich mode as cowards often do when they have lied and lost the argument. But
he cannot hide from the courts or a Freedom of Information (FOI) request and a little
progress has been made towards extracting figures that might confirm his
estimates - or maybe not.
First a quick reminder of what the weasel has been up to. He has whacked up the cost of a permit after estimating the cost of issuing 3,081 parking permits, including a variety of overheads, at £783,200 or roughly £250 each. When challenged independently by several long-suffering residents he sent them near identical emails and numbers he later refused to justify. (Example).
Bexleys website says that their Parking Control Account (PCA) has been filed at the Mayor of Londons Office but in a phone call to try to get hold of a copy they said they were still waiting for it. Why does Bexley council have to lie all the time? Fortunately an FOI is not easily ignored. From that we learn that total parking fees last year were £669,000 and fines (from Penalty Charge Notices, PCNs) were £2,306,000. An income approaching £3m. Costs for the whole operation; thats all parking and fining activity, not just that relating to residents parking permits, was £2,257,00 - so parking services overall run at a tidy profit. They allegedly spent it on Transport Strategy.
You wont be surprised to learn that a council as vindictive and motorist hating as Bexley issued 54,583 (revealed by FOI request) penalties in the year for which the overheads must be considerable. They have a uniformed gestapo team going around on motorbikes and in cars armed with cameras and computers checking on yellow lines all day long. The yellow lines and notices are found throughout the borough. On the other hand we have residents sending in payment for a permit who subsequently get one in the post and the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) infrastructure extends only across a few areas near railway stations and shopping centres and operates for only two hours a day. Lets be extremely generous and assume that the cost of processing a PCN is the same as processing a permit. Unlikely I know, PCNs get challenged and result in appeals and paperwork and residents just wait for the postman, but lets give Craske the benefit of the doubt. So now we have 3,081 permits issued and the best part of 55,000 PCNs. Its pretty close to being a 5%/95% split or to put it another way; of the £2,257,000 expenditure on parking services just £113,000 may relate to CPZs and parking permits.
The FOI provides a break down of costs. £49,000 is attributed to Permit Administration and whilst the permit income is not revealed it must be well over £100,000 at the old permit price and Craske said in his email it is £170,000. He also said that fines from parking in residents bays amounted to £275,000 whilst the FOI says that the total of all fines was £2,306,000. So 12% of fines comes from CPZs.
If you assume, as seems likely, that it costs the same to fine a yellow line offender as it does a CPZ offender, it leads to the conclusion that CPZ fine collection costs are about 12% of the total too. The FOI says that about £2m. is spent handing out and subsequently processing fines so the CPZ element may be as high as £250,000. Quite a lot, but Craskes emails said that CPZ related fines were £275,000 and the income from selling permits (at the pre-increase price) was £177,000. Thats a pretty big profit even before the price went up. No wonder Newham says that a CPZ is self-financing. Craske says CPZs are very expensive to set up and maintain. Has Craske been lying? Does he ever tell the truth? Well lets look at things a different way and compare his emails with the FOI answer and the PCA. Then perhaps we can make up our minds.
• Craske says that the permits ran up £258,000 in staff costs. Thats nearly 60% of the whole office - for about 5% of total activity.
• Craske says it costs £49,000 to produce the permits; implying printing only because he separately lists the other costs. The FOI reveals that £49k. is the total administration cost. Looks like someone is double counting with the intention to deceive.
• Craske says it costs £36,000 a year to paint white lines within CPZs but the figure appears to be imaginary. It doesnt appear in the Parking Accounts, or in the FOI answer and other reports indicate no lines were painted last year.
• Craske says that on-street enforcement costs for CPZs is £328,00 a year. Thats 45% of total enforcement costs according to the FOI answer - for two hours a day maximum restrictions compared to all day outside the CPZs over a vastly wider area.
• Craske says that he spends £11,000 on computers and the like just for CPZ admin. Thats exactly half the total office computer costs according to the FOI answer - for about 5% of the total work.
• Craske says that accommodation overheads related to CPZ admin. amount to £71,200 and the FOI says that premises costs for the whole office adds up to £110,000. 65% for 5% of the activity.
• Craske says that every cost related to residents parking permits adds up to £783,200. Thats more than a third of the entire parking enforcement office to deal with 3,081 permits and around 12% of the total PCNs issued. Craske is pulling our legs isnt he? I may not be an accountant (although one has come to a similar conclusion to me) but all the indications are that Craske has been lying; until he is blue in the face if Wednesday night is anything to go by.
This blog has been given a more permanent entry under the Roads index to maximise the exposure of Craskes attempt to deceive the population with his unjustified price increases.
A friend gave me a lift into Bexleyheath last Saturday and there was a space in
the disabled bays just a bit west of ASDA - he has a blue badge. These bays are
both wide and long and as we got out and took stock of the situation the driver
spotted the fading dividing line which he was straddling. Two small cars had
parked at the opposite extremities of their bay and we had driven into the
middle! As it happened, two members of the gestapo team were close by so my
friend asked if he was OK to park where he was. They said that they would judge
each case on its merits. Well that may be an answer some would welcome but
Im not at all sure that the judgment of one of these parasites is up to the
standard of normal human beings and in my view straddling a line however faded
was asking for trouble - so we drove off and parked elsewhere.
As we passed by the same spot a few minutes later another small car had taken our place and - you know what is coming next dont you? - yes it had been issued with a Penalty Notice. OK, he parked where he shouldnt but that is not the issue here. The real issue is why the gestapo team did not say to my friend No you cant park there but instead encouraged him to park illegally.
This attitude comes from the top - Craske again, the purple faced arch villain. One of his next tricks is to use the CCTV system lovingly installed by your listening council for the protection of residents, to catch motorists in box junctions and the like - so called moving traffic offences. It was among his proposals in last Wednesdays cabinet papers. Those papers were peppered with the phrase Maximising Income but that would be illegal if applied to fining motorists, so he has labelled it Value for Money instead. I was persuaded recently that I shouldnt call Craske a scumbag but you can see why I considered it cant you?
These photos were taken on Wednesday evening, the only time I’ve found the bays free since last Saturday afternoon. Ill try to get clearer ones of the lines but it may not be soon.
I went to my second council meeting yesterday, a cabinet meeting to
discuss the cuts, along with about 15 other Bexley residents.
I dont consider this website to be the place for formal reports of such events,
Ill leave that to Linda Piper to report in the News Shopper or for the
councils own website, but I must say I was totally unimpressed overall.
When I worked for a large multi-national I was never near being on the board, but I was senior enough to sit in on a few meetings and address them occasionally if my area of expertise was under discussion. Its chalk and cheese. These couple-of-hours-a-week-for-nine-grand-a-year-merchants would be totally out of their league there and most were out of their depth in the council chamber. Councillor Campbell put his case clearly and with a degree of authority but apart from that it was mostly waffle that added nothing but exposed the shortcomings of the speakers. The women (Ill get into trouble for this) were all abysmal, councillors Perrior and Bailey in particular couldnt get beyond heaping praise on the council and agreeing with what the other one said. Top expense claimers too and utterly useless. Councillor Craske (it really is pronounced crass!) spoke about transport issues. The Aunt Sally he had set up so that he could ritually shoot it down and make him appear saintly, was duly shot down. School crossing patrols will not be scrapped and lollypop men and women are saved. Id not seen Craske in the flesh before and he looked ill to me, his face was the colour of a beetroot throughout. Whether it was the sight of me or the parking permit campaigner in the public gallery I have no idea. Maybe he is always like that but whatever the case I hope he is alright for without him I might run short of idiocies to report.
Councillor Deadman several times expressed his concern for the staff and their jobs and was rewarded with polite nods from other council members and applause from sections of the listening public. Teresa ONeill who went on public record recently to say reducing councillor numbers was an option, surprise, surprise, did not mention the subject at all. Nor did anyone else.
One thing I was surprised to see is that Chief Executive Will Tuckley actually does exist. I had begun to think he was one of those fictional individuals that some companies use in advertisements. Names that represent the brand with no danger of ever losing them because it is all a charade. No; scrap that idea, these fictional people reply to letters and emails. Tuckley never does that. In fact as I left the meeting I passed a small group that had waylaid Tuckley and I heard enough to know that their complaint was that he hadnt responded to their enquiries. So thats good, no one is going to notice when he gets the chop.
Its Wednesday so its the News Shoppers bash Bexley day. Page 11 is interesting, it highlights three residents who have been trying to squeeze embarrassing information from the council using the Freedom of Information Act. These must be the people that councillor Campbell tried to gag by making threats against them. Among the facts exposed is that council staff claimed £687,174 last year for driving around the borough. Except for the Northern tip of Thamesmead everywhere in Bexley is less than half an hour on a bus from the Civic Centre. 39 out of 70 senior council staff were paid bonuses on top of their salary in 2008/9. The News Shopper names the people responsible for the monitoring as John Watson, Elwyn Bryant and Michael Barnbrook. Looking them up on Google reveals that it was Mr. Barnbrook who was instrumental in bringing down ex-MP Derek Conway for abuse of Parliamentary funds and he has others in his sights. He is a retired police inspector so he must be well used to chasing criminals; good luck Michael, you are going to be busy.
Exactly three years ago, Nick Johnson, the then Chief Executive of Bexley
council was so unwell he had to give up his job, poor thing. He was on £203k. a
year and we were lumbered with paying him £50k. pension a year for life. But he
wasnt that unwell because just four months later he landed a £260k. job with
Hammersmith & Fulham council. The rules dictate that he should have lost some of
the Bexley funded pension when he suddenly found he wasnt ill after all, but
with some carefully arranged financial jiggery-pokery he managed to hold on to
the lot. So he is now on £310,000 a year extracted from the mugs otherwise known
as council-tax payers. And as is still common in Bexley, these parasites are
hitched up to partners of a similar disposition. Johnson lives with the Chief
Executive of Notting Hills housing association and their house just happens to
be a flat only a few yards from Tony Blairs grand mansion in Paddington. They
are all at it; milking the system that is.
This story is unashamedly nicked from last Sundays Mail on Sunday. For the whole sordid tale click here.
featured council neglect a couple of times recently, heres another
example, albeit a fairly trivial one. This sign has been taped to a lamp post since the end of 2008 when
Thames Water were replacing a water main. Its probably TfLs
responsibility but councillors walk by it regularly. If they were really
interested in improving the environment and making Bexley look a little less
ugly and run-down than it is, then all it would take is a phone call. Why dont
they do it, on ample expenses it wouldnt cost them a bean? The reason is that councillors are too
often only interested in their own income. Some are getting close to six figure territory. I recently
added a page to the site (which will be augmented as extra information is researched) which youve probably not
discovered yet, but take a look at this for an
example of how we are being taken for fools by our councillors. It may not be illegal but it is certainly
amoral and not what one would expect from totally honest altruistic individuals in public life.
Perhaps they noticed what local (ex) MPs Conway and Austin got up to and got
away with. Not forgetting our illustrious recent council leader,
friend of the Mayor and expenses fiddler extraordinaire, Ian Clement.
The larger photo in the gallery provides the proof that the diversion sign is within Bexley borough.
I always find that new websites take a year or so to take-off and so it is with bexley-is-bonkers. The Google ranking remains high (a page 1 result for Bexley council) thanks to an increasing number of links from other sites. A description of it being terrific on the News Shopper site will not have done any harm either. Ive only just noticed that, so a belated thank-you to whoever put that there.