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Bonkers Blog August 2011

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27 August - Newsreel

Council inspired obscene blog

My colleague Elwyn Bryant received two letters last week only a day apart. The first was from the Minister for Crime and Security to assure him that Commander Stringer of Bexleyheath police was taking the matter of the obscene blog very seriously indeed, and the other was from Bexleyheath police, unsigned and bearing an incorrect reference number, saying that as the blog was no longer on Google’s servers there was nothing they could do. That is why I sought witnesses the other day to the fact that the blog address and the place-holder still exists at Google.

Mr. Bryant phoned the number on the letter to see if he could find out more but was told the computer file was marked ‘RESTRICTED’ and no one except senior officers could access it. He was promised one would call him, but that was three days ago and he has heard nothing. Someone is going to enormous lengths to protect a corrupt council aren’t they? The Minister for Crime and MP for Bexley has said that there must be no safe haven for cybercriminals; Elwyn will no doubt ask him to prove that it wasn’t just a sound-bite.

Meanwhile, Elwyn has composed an enquiry under the Freedom of Information Act which if answered honestly will expose the police for fools or worse. They said they were going to employ the services of a “Data Specialist” but their letter was written by someone who hasn’t a clue about the net which is why anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of IT procedures can drive a coach and horses through it. My suspicion is that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing but it does illustrate how for “the old school” of Bexleyheath police, if not the new Borough Commander, the priority is to turn a blind eye to the criminal activities of Bexley council. Law enforcement can take a back seat.

Subject Access Request to Bexley council

My SAR is seven weeks overdue. Chief Executive William Tuckley must be very keen to cover something up. My complaint to the Information Commissioner is a month old and had received only an auto-responder message with no case ID and bearing a wrong (two numbers transposed) contact number. When I spoke to them yesterday it became clear that the complaint was in the system and I was given a reference number. As yet the case is still in their In Tray. The wheels of justice turn slowly at the ICO but at least it is better than in Bexley where they have seized up.

Telephone parking

One of my regular correspondents referred me to some mobile phone stats which told me what I knew already. All the young and middle-aged have them and old timers like me much less so. But if my conversations with young people are typical they have run out of credit on them. And do they have credit on their bank cards too? I have been poking around Companies House about the company that runs the phone parking scheme for councillor Craske. It seems to smell a bit in there. Birds of a feather flocking together perhaps? Report coming soon.

Ombudsman rules against Bexley council

I mentioned a month ago that Bexley council’s parking department sent in the bailiffs without just cause to someone who had incurred a parking penalty. The case has now been listed on the Local Government Lawyers site. Bexley’s uncaring attitude to residents is being spread far and wide. A Canadian blogger refers his readers to Bexley is Bonkers as a prime example of all that has gone wrong with government in Britain. The reputation of the council run by Boris Johnson’s favourite council leader, Teresa Ann Jude O’Neill, is being trashed across the globe.

Bexley on the ball

I reported a subsidence in my nearest main road on Friday afternoon and within fifteen minutes someone was out in the rain effecting a temporary repair. So Craske manages to turn everything he touches into dross despite having people on his team who know what public service is and pull out all the stops. That magnificent effort is not the first, it has been much the same every time I have reported a problem of that nature.

Keeping schtum - almost

I bumped into an ex-councillor in the street at the beginning of the month. I was quite very impressed and picked up a few gems. Unfortunately there is not a single one I can tell you about. Well maybe just a hint…

When I was a kid in the nineteen fifties my mother insisted that no one must be called a liar and thanks to her I still find it uncomfortable to use the word. But when Craske and Bailey go on a publicity drive and get themselves in the papers by claiming they have given Bexley the lowest car parking charges in SE London and you only have to click through to Bromley or Greenwich’s websites to see that it’s untrue, you not only wonder about their sanity, you cannot avoid thinking “liars”. I know mother would prefer me to refer to mendacity but the revelations I heard in the street give me every confidence that the four letter version isn’t wide of the mark.

Browse around the Bromley website and you will find that their lesser shopping centres like Beckenham and Petts Wood are only 40 and 30 pence an hour respectively. Sidcup, Erith, Northumberland Heath, all smaller than Beckenham as shopping centres, are all 80 pence an hour. Welling is 90 pence. We have elected mendacious fools incapable of managing the borough’s budget effectively. Bromley is not only cheaper for parking but has the third lowest council taxes in outer London, Bexley is twelfth on a list of only 20. Council leader Teresa O’Neill claimed we were “one of the lowest”. Lying. It’s what they do - all of them.


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