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The Official Opening of the £4·2 million Lesnes Abbey Park and Lodge took
place in front of me and two Bonkers readers yesterday afternoon. Such was the quality of Bexley
Council’s publicity machine, no one else turned up.
It was intriguing that residents are considered to be such a threat to the privileged few quaffing taxpayers’ champagne that there were at least five Ward Security vans dotted in and around the park together with two dog units, one decorated to look like a police car.
Just what gets into the heads of the morons who run Bexley Council that they think residents are ready to set upon them with pitchforks and flaming torches? I spoke to a couple of the security men and they agreed they had never seen anything quite as crazy before.
Far more security men and dogs than spectators.
There will probably be some more pictures posted here before long but they can
take second place to another of my appointments yesterday.
It was the night of this month’s Abbey Wood Traders’ Association meeting. Normally that doesn’t get reported here but the situation with Anti-Social Behaviour in Wilton Road has become intolerable.
£300,000 has been spent on improving Wilton Road and if anything the situation has become worse. As was anticipated the benches attract men with cans of beer and not pensioners with shopping baskets.
Yesterday I was taken aback by the stench of cannabis being openly smoked. I followed the offender up the stairs to the flyover and off in the direction of Sainsbury’s still puffing away.
Later I spoke to a lady who had been accosted by five different beggars in one day alone.
There is a danger that highlighting the situation here will drive even more shoppers away but how else will the problem be recognised?
Over the past year or so the Association has welcomed guest speakers from both Councils. Heads of Economic Development, Highways Managers, Heads of Regeneration and police officers from both sides of the borough divide.
Some make promises but nothing ever happens. Most simply disappear from the scene and ignore further attempts to contact them. Councillors have been invited but only Danny Hackett (Bexley Labour, Lesnes Abbey) turns up. With no Conservative support he can do very little. Teresa Pearce MP has fared no better. I know she has passed comments on to Denise Hyland (Labour, Abbey Wood and Leader of Greenwich Council) but Denise has not been in contact with the Association for at least two years.
Local politicians, all of them, are regularly roundly condemned.
The police have been full of hot air too. Since the Traders’ last meeting shop owners have logged two muggings, an 80 year old man beaten up and an incident involving a gang clad in balaclavas and armed with knives trying to get into the Abbey Arms in the early hours. According to the licensee the police never showed up. (They never did anything about the windscreen brick either.)
A month ago both Councils were emailed about the possibility of an Alcohol Free Zone. Neither replied. Danny Hackett was supportive and recognises the problems. He is going to try to organise a meeting with all the relevant agencies. Unless both Councils get their act together the opening of Crossrail will be some sort of disaster for the area around the station.
Some Councillors are much more interested in scoring points off opponents and drinking champagne than solving real world problems.