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Bonkers Blog December 2015

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1 December (Part 2) - Lesnes Abbey and Broadway Phase II make progress while a new stealth tax creeps in unannounced

LesnesThe work on Lesnes Abbey appears to be progressing fast while Phase II of the regeneration of Bexleyheath Broadway is winding down towards its Christmas break on 12th December.

Lesnes Abbey looks to be a wreck at the moment, old stone steps, gardens and hedges have all been torn out. A few days ago I met John from Erith who had come to visit his favourite park and was appalled by what he saw, the hedge removal in particular.

However the new Visitor Centre has grown something over the past week. (Photo 1 below.)

In Bexleyheath Broadway the new footpaths are very nearly complete and undeniably look very smart while they remain clean. If you look carefully through the grime and splodges of chewing gum with which those laid two years ago as part of Phase I are now plentifully adorned one realises they are identical and look distinctly tatty. Bexley’s cut back on street cleaning is presumably taking its toll, but did it ever clean off chewing gum or power wash its footpaths?

The seats look good too, (Photo 3 below) none of the water accumulating granite slabs which were thoughtlessly installed in Welling, Sidcup and Northumberland Heath.
Lesnes Broadway Lion Road Lion Road
The final photograph includes a warning notice against pavement parking, one can well understand Bexley council not wanting that, and they have drawn attention to their CCTV camera on a nearby pole. How is that going to work when the council stops monitoring the CCTV and hands the job over to the police? Pavement parking won’t interest them.

Bexley council’s looking for savings and taking it to silly extremes will have unintended consequences. They used to have an 020 8 telephone number on their website where you could report illegally parked cars. I used it once but it seems to have gone. I know that Bexley’s website is horrible and lots of things are hard to find, but I am not alone in getting lost before going around the same circle again.

ChargesThe only way now is to fill in a web form - a really clever idea if you are blocked in your drive and need to get out sooner rather than later. If you phone the council’s switchboard they will give you a number to call direct - several people have told me about it over the past couple of weeks.

It is not exactly a friendly move, even on my BT ‘free’ calls package it is costly. Stuff that; another stealth tax from Bexley council. All they do is annoy people. I’m still not always washing my plastic and tin cans before recycling them since having to pay bin charges. Maybe it’s petty but why should one be helpful to a council interested only in extracting cash from residents and selling what residents value most?

 

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