There were two more Council meetings this evening but I only went to one, the
Constitution Review which held out the prospect of being short. Planning, the
alternative, can go on past midnight.
That makes three Council meetings I’ve attended this week and all of them were conducted in an efficient and professional manner. John Watson tried to sit in at a different three meetings but was excluded from the Members’ Staffing Panel the only attraction of which, in my opinion, is that it is held in the Board Room which one would otherwise never see.
It was clearly advertised as a Public meeting and is still shown as such but they wouldn’t let John in. Definitely illegal.
I shall put it down to incompetence on someone’s part because more generally Bexley Council appears to be changing for the better. Five years ago today at the height of Bexley Council’s fight against public scrutiny they had another blogger in Court for allegedly making offensive comments to a Councillor. He used the C word and was found guilty under Section 127 of the Telecommunications Act 2003 of Tweeting a grossly offensive and menacing comment.
He did use the C word but not at anyone in particular. It did not identify Councillor Melvin Seymour but another Councillor told him it did and without checking he made an almost totally false statement to the police which they must have known was false, all the evidence was there, but they prosecuted the Tweeter anyway. Police officers can be crooks too and some were prepared to lie in Court.
There have been many cases right up to recent times of Bexley police doing Bexley Council favours and being prepared to lie big time about it. I am still hopeful that their Directorate of Professional Standards will show them the errors of their ways with their ongoing investigation. Without doubt the DPS now know that some of Bexley’s police officers have acted in a corrupt manner.
So John and I went to the meeting of the Constitution Panel meeting for no other reason than to keep them on their toes, it was never likely to be an interesting meeting. The Constitution requires an occasional update and simplification in line with a smaller and more efficient Council. That’s about all there is to it.
About half a dozen relatively insignificant changes were submitted to the 100 pages of the draft Part 2 - Part 1 has already been dealt with - and Chairman O’Neill did an excellent job of getting through the lot in 35 minutes.
There appears to be a move towards delegating decisions from Councillors to Officers and Council to Committees which is presumably aimed at faster response times and less expense. For example John Watson noticed that the Code of Conduct Committee which has until now recommended their favoured candidate for Independent Person to Full Council will now take the final decision themselves. The cynic might say it makes it easier to appoint a yes man.
There was no UKIP representative at this evening’s meeting and the same happened at the previous meeting of the Panel and there was an empty desk at last night’s Scrutiny Committee too.
Has UKIP given up on Bexley?
Note: The blogger was found guilty but the verdict was overturned on appeal.