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Bonkers Blog July 2011

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28 July - Newsreel

Chief Executive’s salary

It has long been rumoured that the Chief Executive’s salary reached stratospheric levels because the previous incumbent, Nick Johnson, when he first became unwell, did a deal over a taxpayer funded dinner with the council leader of the time, the fraudster Ian Clement. The object being to boost Johnson’s pension. Mr. Johnson was initially employed by Bexley council in December 2003 on £153,468 a year and his pay went up by £4,218, £4,734 and £4,791 over the next three years. However just two months after that last increase his pay was boosted by another £31,269. And then he went sick and left, only to get a similar job with Hammersmith & Fulham council a few months later. Bexley taxpayers were left with a £50,000 a year pension bill. Suspicious I think you will agree.

The most recent enquiry about the reason for the massive extra salary increase reveals only that it was “a technical adjustment”. A friendly ex-councillor has told me that term is code for “it wasn’t agreed by any council committee but was agreed solely by Clement.” Clement still owes Bexley council around £2,000 from his abused credit card but his generosity lives on in Will Tuckley’s inflated salary. Council leader Teresa O’Neill may have said at last week’s Boris Show that he was “worth every penny” (See page 11 of this week’s News Shopper) but the survey being conducted by the Bexley Council Monitoring Group indicates that 95% of residents in the leader’s own ward think she is absolutely wrong. (More news soon.)

Council inspired obscene blog

Commander Stringer of Bexleyheath police has not had the decency to acknowledge my email of 19 July but James Brokenshire MP phoned Elwyn Bryant (who was a victim of the blogger) to assure him that the police are taking the investigation seriously.

I am not in my daughter’s league when it comes to confronting police wrong-doing. She has been with Tim Godwin, the Met’s new Acting Commissioner at City Hall this morning with her partner Alastair, putting questions about their cover up of his brother’s murder. Godwin wouldn’t answer any questions either. The rot goes to the top.

Councillors’ allowances

When the list of councillors and their allowances was last updated it proved impossible to attribute all the available allowances to individual councillors because the source data was inadequate. As a result some councillors may get a bigger allowance than is shown on the list. The problem arises because the council used to publish “Details of Members’ Allowances” but now it is only a “Scheme of Members’ Allowances”. It is far harder to unravel a generalised ‘Scheme’ than it is to extract information from the “Details”. The information should be available from the council’s website but it is no longer as clear as it used to be. I wonder why.

Bexley is Bonkers blocked at council offices and libraries

A much delayed response to a Freedom of Information request has revealed that the decision to block access to this site via council servers was taken by the Chief Executive, Will Tuckley.

Short breaks for disabled children

Last December the government allocated £800 million to allowing parents with disabled children a short break from their non-stop caring duties. The government regarded the scheme as being vital enough to be exempted from their Comprehensive Spending Review. Bexley was allocated £883,000 but just as it did with the Ethic Minority Grant, Bexley council kept back a large chunk of the money for itself. £81,000 to be precise giving as its excuse, "coordination". That’s an awful lot of staff hours to coordinate well deserved breaks for children and carers. Possibly three full time members of staff to administer a few holidays.


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