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You might well have guessed from the ‘advert’ that has appeared at the top
left of every blog page for the past couple of weeks that I am
of Bexley’ bid to be London’s Borough of Culture. It has a lot going for it.
I may also have given you the impression that I was on the brink of applying a brake to BiB activities while Bexley Council runs a more honest operation as appears to have been the case recently. At least nothing like as dishonest as was commonplace two or three years ago.
Whilst BiB has never been Labour supporting I know that some people see it that way and the small danger that it might deliver a few votes towards Jeremy Corbyn was worrying me. Several reasons to put Bonkers on my back-burner were coming together at the same time.
With that in mind I drove over to Hall Place this morning for a quick look at the Culture event held there today and determined to congratulate everyone I saw and knew on a job well done.
There were several Councillors wandering around. Brian Bishop gave a friendly “hello”, Cafer Munur agreed that Bexley’s bid was a good one and was in with a good chance and Eileen Pallen and Val Clark gave me the stony stare to which I have become accustomed.
Director Jane Richardson, in my experience the only senior Bexley Council officer who is always absolutely on top of her brief, was happy to discuss the bid in friendly terms but after that it was all downhill.
On the way in a friendly lady noted my interest in the main Bexley stall and she got around to asking for my name, address and email and I filled in her form.
As I handed it to her I said “better not show that to Peter Craske”. She asked why and I told her that I once reported a crime to the police which resulted in his arrest. She said she had only been in the borough a year and I suggested it might be best if she remained in blissful ignorance especially as the criminal element in Bexley Council appeared to have turned over a new leaf.
After touring around the other stalls I headed for the exit where I spotted Cabinet Member Peter Craske standing by the aforesaid friendly lady.
I said “well done” to him and offered my congratulations on a fine effort. He ignored me. I asked if he was going to say anything and he replied “I don’t know you” as if that was any excuse for his rudeness.
To the friendly lady alongside I said “I have met this man at least 100 times but he doesn’t know me. As I told you I even had him arrested once”
Councillor Craske was suddenly moved to say something. He has never been arrested, he has never been mentioned in the News Shopper in connection with that arrest and if there was such a report in the paper it must have been mistaken.
I could if necessary produce several letters from the police and the Crown Prosecution Service which confirm that Councillor Peter Craske was arrested and charges were being considered.
What sort of lunatic unnecessarily steers my congratulatory comment and determination to overlook history in favour of promoting the new look Bexley Council into a reason to rake up his inglorious past? The sort of lunatic that Sidcup & Lamorbey ward elected and who Council Leader Teresa O’Neill considers a fit and proper person to run the borough’s most high profile Cabinet post presumably.
Chief Executive Gill Steward was within earshot and I asked her why everyone was so negative when offered congratulations. I got no answer but she did tell me not to take her photograph. I grabbed just the one and she was pulling a face again.
Her first idea after taking office was not to look for a way of improving Bexley’s poor relationship with the media but to attack it wherever she legally could. Next time Councillor Read is looking for a cretin maybe he should look in her direction.
So just as it was when The Belvedere Beach was opened, Bexley Council manages to turn what should have been a wholly positive report into anything but, and my dream of a blog-free future recedes further into the distance.
Well done Peter and Co.
Council Press Release.