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Bexley Council will hold its annual Jamboree this evening, two or more hours
of cringeworthy self-congratulation over the successes of their outgoing Mayor,
Eileen Pallen and the absolute wonderfulness of their chosen candidates for the
year ahead, Councillor Peter Reader (Conservative, Northumberland Heath) with
John Wilkinson (Conservative, Brampton) as his Deputy. Both decent enough chaps as far as I can tell.
The Labour party nominees will not get a look in. No one who votes Labour in Bexley will ever be represented by a Mayor which seems to be fundamentally unfair. A quarter of Bexley’s Councillors are Labour so why not a Labour Mayor every four years?
I wondered if this lack of democracy was commonplace and decided to scout around to see if I could find an exception to Bexley’s rule. I didn’t have to go far.
Bromley which is a staunchly Conservative Council is not afraid to see a Labour Mayor. In fact currently both the Mayor and her Deputy are Labour.
That can never happen in Bexley because we have a weak Leader in Teresa O’Neill who must be protected in every possible way.
Her new Deputy will be Councillor Don Massey (Conservative, Rochester) who replaces Rob Leitch who failed to universally back the Tory line. He and Councillor June Slaughter (both Conservative, Sidcup) remembered that they were elected to serve the public first and not the borough’s Great Dictator.
Massey and O’Neill will make the perfect couple. One reported me to the police in 2011 for being critical of Councillors and the other followed suit last year. The 2011 incident got Bexley Police into trouble with the Independent Police Complaints Authority and the repercussions from last year are still ongoing.