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News and Comment December 2014

Index: 2019202020212022

2 December (Part 2) - Wood you believe it? Trees lopped

Tree“The council appreciates that trees are important in enhancing the borough - and that they bring with them a sense of well-being and happiness for many residents.”

That’s what Bexley council says on its website and few would disagree.

There are a lot of things that enhance a borough apart from trees. Grants for heritage sites, provision of libraries and cultural venues, community events, parks and children’s playgrounds all add to the quality of life in the borough.

In Bexley all those things have either gone already without asking for public comment or will be gone just as soon as the council has said the consultation process has confirmed the wisdom of their proposals,

Bexley’s consultations are usually a farce. A little over 1% participation is about as good as it gets and as a local trader said to me yesterday when I encouraged him to take part, “What’s the point they’ll do it all anyway”.

The council’s Twitter announcement about consulting on a reduction in the number of councillors may prove it’s all a sham since they have already asked the Boundary Commission “to instigate the start of the process”. Dressing up an increase in the level of parking fines as a saving illustrates the dishonesty at the heart of Bexley council.

To return to trees for a moment, you may be surprised to hear that despite the fact that Bexley council claims to appreciate the value of trees, it has already agreed, as a matter of policy, not to plant any more - with one proviso.

If you dig into your own pocket to the tune of £230 Bexley council will plant a tree just for you. The days when a council would see enhancing the borough as their responsibility have apparently gone. There is very little left which Bexley council does do, apart from appointing a Deputy Chief Executive and six paid Scrutiny Vice Chairmen of course.


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