Bexley’s Conservative Councillors can be divided in several ways. There are
those who will give a friendly nod of acknowledgment when passing by and those
who will pretend I don't exist and have never said a word.
There are those who will engage in businesslike or even friendly conversation and those who will let a door swing in your face.
There are those who conduct their business in the Council Chamber in a civilised manner and those whose instinct is to fling insults at opposition members and occasionally members of the public too. But it doesn’t really matter by which criterion they are judged, the names that fall on either side of the divide remain much the same.
Another measure of possible discontent is the amount of gossip that comes in anonymously. I am loathe to use it as I like to be sure sources are reliable but it would appear that for a long time another division is those that are in the Teresa O’Neill camp and protected by her and those who are not. Probably those names divide in much the same way as all the others.
The Cabinet has all the power and an additional allowance of £13,197 but since the Leader’s 2014 attempt to overload Scrutiny Committees in the expectation it might reduce their ability to scrutinise, it has been the Scrutiny Chairmen (an extra £8,802) who carry the biggest workload. At least that is what the grapevine would have me believe.
The General Purposes Committee which recently rubber stamped the Old Farm Park decision has come in for some flak as a load of ambitious sycophants anxious to do what the Leader tells them in the hope of patronage coming their way.
However far better than anonymous griping which one doesn’t know whether to believe or not is when someone summons up a bit more courage. What can be more anonymous than a brown envelope posted in some far off corner of the country?
Perhaps the discontent and the divisions are growing.