Every Saturday morning I take a walk to the northern extremity of Harrow Manorway to see what progress has been made on widening it and turning it into the planned boulevard that will lead to the Crossrail terminus. it is progressing but at a painfully slow rate. More than 200 pictures may be seen here.
The most recent one shows the smoke from this morning’s devastating house fire in Thamesmead. (Photo No. 217.)
Nearer the station progress has been even slower. The rejuvenation of Gayton Road was due to start last January and there is still no sign of it. The reason is not difficult to see, Network Rail engineers are still trying to solve the drainage problems which afflict the area.
On the other side of the railway line Network Rail has been kicked out of their Felixstowe Road depot.
The staff I have spoken to are not at all happy about having to walk a mile to get into work from their replacement depot.
Why have they moved out prematurely? It probably has something to do with Bexley Council’s decision to off load the Felixstowe Road Car Park to BexleyCo who will inevitably build another tower block.
For no particular reason except that opportunities are fast running out, here also is a picture of a Network Rail claim for their new station which has failed to attract any attention since it went up a couple or three years ago. So a London bus weighs around 70 tonnes does it? Fully laden about 14 tonnes would be around right, just Google it. Maybe Bexley’s obesity problem is even worse than Bexley Council says it is.
Secrecy and criminality
If you asked me five or six years ago if I thought Bexley Council was run by a bunch of crooks I would have happily agreed that that was the impression they went out of their way to cultivate. Before the advent of social media and the scrutiny it engendered they thought they could get away with murder - quite literally in at least one case.
Bexley Councillors went to the police when criticised and acted as if they were above the law and in effect they were. Bexley Police Officers were more than once guilty of rewriting history to support their crooked Council friends.
To distance themselves from public scrutiny eleven of the worst Councillor offenders claimed Section 32 Exemption. What is that? Well under the Localism Act any Councillor who believes that someone is really out to get them can exclude contact details from their Register of Interests. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/20/section/32.
In 2013 across the whole of London only 15 Councillors claimed that they were being stalked by bogeymen and bloggers. Eleven of them were in Bexley.
I like to kid myself that things are very much better now although the tone is still set by the unscrupulous and disreputable Teresa O’Neill and Peter Craske. Just after the recent election I asked a Councillor friend if there was any chance of O’Neill not being elected as Leader but the answer said it all. “I wish!”
We have a way to go before Bexley Council is really cleaned up but meanwhile all the best Councillor scandals seem to be in Greenwich right now.
One of the things I should have done before now is check the 45 updated Registers of Interest to see who might be hiding something. It may be of minor interest that several Councillors do not claim any land interest within the borough. As they are all from the younger element I am happy to assume they are renting or live with parents.
I rather liked Councillor Daniel Francis’ (Labour Leader, Belvedere) claim to be a Director at his home address - does Mrs. Francis know? Councillor Dourmoush (Conservative, Longlands) who I have always understood lives in Chislehurst appears to have done a Massey who rented a house in Larch Grove to cover his residency in Rochester. Councillor Dourmoush also lists an address in Larch Grove but before anyone jumps to the conclusion that he is up to no good let me tell you he runs his own business in Erith. He is not another Don Massey and unlike him is not the sort of snowflake who would run to the police when someone blogs about him.
So Bexley Councillors no longer shelter behind Section 32 exemptions to keep the public at arms length? Not quite I am afraid. New Labour Councillor Nicola Taylor (Erith) is keeping her address hidden.
I don’t know Ms. Taylor except that she said hello as she passed by at the end of the recent Planning meeting so I thought challenging her directly might be a bit cheeky, but we do have a trustworthy mutual friend. I asked the obvious question, was there a good violence based reason for Nicola’s reticence?
There is. I didn‘t press things further, you either trust a friend to put the truth above political considerations or they are not a friend. That is a concept that Teresa O’Neill is never likely to understand.
Note: The latter part of this blog is prompted by an anonymous contributor who might otherwise continue to harbour unjustified suspicions about Councillor Taylor.
Thamesmead Community Market
Those of us who a couple of years ago were keeping abreast of developments within the Lesnes Abbey area may remember Chris Molnar who was the Community Copper for the ward and who was a pioneer of police Twittering, Things have not been the same since he transferred elsewhere.
I have good reason not to like any police officer but Chris said a few things to me in his time here that made me think I should not tar him with the same brush as I have most of them. I can say that now because Chris no longer works as a police officer. He is in fact the man behind the Thamesmead Community Market, actually I think his wife may be the major force but Chris is well into it too.
There will be another Thamesmead Market next Saturday but the main reason for giving it a plug here is because the September market is going to be held in Wilton Road on my doorstep. Whether that is instead of or in addition to a Thamesmead event in September I do not know,
Put 15th September, Wilton Road, in your diary.
Contact CCEVents (see leaflet) to book a stall. Initial proposals suggested they might be as cheap as £10 each.