In the bad old days before Bexley Council had been caught out so many times, Councillors and their senior managers used to take annual all expenses paid
breaks at smart hotels, but reality has set in, they now go to relatively inexpensive
conference facilities in Canary Wharf and the like.
At the last one it was decided that Councillors should take to Twitter to counter the negativity about Bexley Council. Some Councillors turned out to be quite good at it.
Perhaps my favourite Twit is John Davey (Conservative, Cyberspace) who strikes a reasonable balance between political knock about and the Gospel according to St. Teresa. He makes me laugh in a good way and the barbs directed at his political opponents are relatively polite (at least by Twitter standards) and far removed from the poisonous bile that some of his colleagues are happy to indulge in.
Another account I follow is Councillor Peter Craske’s and I disagree with him far less often than he probably suspects, however his spin doctoring past dies hard.
This morning he Tweeted that Bexley has the lowest crime rate in London, is best at recycling and its schools are pretty good.
To some extent it will depend on how things are measured but that is probably nit-picking. What Councillor Craske says is more or less right and everyone can be proud of the achievements.
However then he went and spoilt it by claiming that library usage is up by 9%.
It may be but doesn’t seem very likely. The figures have been published for only half the libraries and they are down on average by 12·5%. (Three out of four are down and one is up).
I asked Councillor Craske via Twitter if he had the figures for the other half - they may have all rocketed to achieve his 9% - but no answer has been forthcoming.
It’s not special treatment reserved for me, Councillors Danny Hackett and Stefano Borella asked the same question. Maybe Councillor Craske will find the figures that prove him right, I hope so.