mayor Sharon Massey got through her year with barely a bad word written about
her (she seems to disagree) which is quite an achievement. It would have been a dull year if her
activities did not extend beyond charity events and church parades but
fortunately the party girl within could not be entirely suppressed and her
penchant for booze and strippers brightened up our lives. The Mobile Bar Hire
van parked outside the chamber (Photo 3) summed up the mayoral year 2013/14 beautifully.
This being Bexley the occasion had to be marked not only by booze but by much back slapping and just as with her entrance a year ago it was led by councillor John Waters with personal anecdotes verging on the indiscreet.
In another repeat of 2013, the Labour party proposed councillor Gill MacDonald for mayor. I am inclined to think that councillor MacDonald is well qualified to be mayor; none of them over the past four years has ever spoken a word to me, not even a grudging ‘Good evening’. Gill MacDonald is the only Labour councillor to have followed their example.
Needless to say every Conservative voted against her as did two of the UKIPpers and councillor Howard Marriner was duly elected. Howard Marriner has not in my experience been a high profile councillor and apart from allegedly barricading the doors of councillor Cheryl Bacon’s illegal Closed Session meeting appears to be a decent enough chap. He chose councillor Ross Downing as his deputy.
The outgoing mayor had to make a speech, not one many would call a gracious speech because apart from telling us what a wonderful time she had and how she enjoyed putting down former councillor Munir Malik as if he was a naughty schoolboy she was uncomplimentary about the press and web coverage she had received. Did she really expect her dalliance with male strippers at an unlicenced venue owned by her deputy to pass unnoticed?
You may search the council’s webcast archive to hear the whole of councillor Massey’s speech in context or alternatively listen to this 46 second extract.
Sharon Massey may not always have been enamoured of what was written about her but she was never shy when it came to the news media both traditional and otherwise. She was instrumental in dragging Bexley council towards the 21st century by embracing Twitter and Facebook and accepted photography in the chamber before it had been formally approved by council, which marked her out as different to the various tyrants who preceded her. I can’t quite imagine Howard Marriner on Twitter but neither can I imagine Howard regressing to the bad old ways of mayors Val Clark and Alan Downing. On the other hand those figures of fun provided a very easy target for ridicule. Every cloud has a silver lining.