Whilst I believe that web stats are best taken with a large pinch of salt, they
leave little doubt that the story that consistently draws the most readers
is the one about councillor Peter Craske and his brush with the law and how the
police successfully “resolved the ongoing situation”.
The Crown Prosecution Service which promised to reveal how the police failed to follow their instructions has gone all coy. Their director, Keir Starmer, will shortly get a letter about it, however it would appear that Peter Craske might not yet be free of police attention.
After an interval of several weeks I attended another meeting of the Bexley Council Monitoring Group yesterday although perhaps I shouldn’t use that term any more. John Watson who first adopted the name no longer has the time to participate fully and I gathered that the remainder of the group feel it is time to move on from ‘Monitoring’ to a more active role. Bexley Residents’ Action Group perhaps? A logo formed of pitchforks and flaming torches would be nice. But I digress.
After much thought and some negotiations with Mrs. Barnbrook, Mick B. has decided that he will stand as an Independent candidate in the Blackfen & Lamorbey ward next May. It will be good to see a policeman, or at least a retired Inspector, breathing down Craske’s neck again. Assuming the slippery road wrecker and parking permit charge tripler doesn’t jump ship to another ward of course.
My intention to be close to impartial in electoral matters is going to be severely tested but anyone prepared to oppose Bexley council’s Tory agenda of dishonesty and secrecy needs all the encouragement that can be mustered. Mick has asked if I can provide him with a potted history of Craske to help with his first leaflet. That shouldn’t be difficult and I'll dig out something on Ms. Perrior too but attacking councillor Beckwith will be more difficult. He is one of several councillors who pockets a whole £9,418 and never opens his mouth at any meeting. Same with his wife.
As Mick lives in the Blackfen ward it is understandable that he should want to fight that seat but in my opinion Teresa O’Neill’s Brampton ward is a far more attractive proposition.
More than half of Elwyn Bryant’s 2,219 signatures against excessive council salaries were gathered in Brampton ward and none of the doors (†) opened there provided anything but enthusiasm for halting the gravy train.
Many asked what Elwyn’s next step would be. Following Teresa O’Neill’s refusal to consider the petition and her dismissive response to a question at last week’s council meeting, the answer seems obvious to me. Elwyn, or someone of a like mind, should pursue O’Neill into her chamber. Preferably with a promise to merge the Chief Executive’s post with another borough or get rid of it altogether, and put the clock back 40 years by not accepting the members’ allowance.
A million pounds a year is going into Bexley councillors’ pockets and Labour leader Chris Ball, when asked to sign the salaries petition, said he didn’t think Will Tuckley was paid enough. Up the workers!
By the weekend, when the county election results are in, it may be a possible to form a better idea of just how vulnerable Bexley’s seats might be. If anyone is interested in taking on the arrogance of Teresa O’Neill or her cohorts I’m sure I could arrange access to Elwyn’s database of sympathetic addresses.
† The exceptions being Teresa O’Neill’s mum and dad and a councillor’s spouse who wanted to sign but was frightened of the consequences if ’er in doors found out.