After a very busy, but quite exciting couple of weeks, I have somehow engineered a free day and the plan is to put
on line my correspondence with Kent Police about their
ridiculous harassment charge.
I think it suggests that their junior ranks are incompetent, verging on the stupid, and that the priority for more senior officers is to cover up, which I call corruption, but your views may differ.
The only way to lay that one to rest is for those interested to read what was said and make up their own minds.
Meanwhile a catch up on relatively minor things that have accumulated in recent days.
Ye Olde Leather Bottle
I have twice had people suggesting I revisit the Leather Bottle site and take a look at what our bearded friend is up to; cutting down mature trees was what I was told. However my visit showed me nothing new. Yes the site is a mess but it always has been. I saw nothing I had not seen before, except perhaps Bexley Council’s neglect of Footpath 11.
It is blocked just fifty feet from where it starts. I don’t think it goes anywhere useful and there is a nearby alternative route so perhaps it isn’t worth Bexley spending our money on clearing it.
Kingswood Avenue (Rear of)
A sorry tale came from nearby Kingswood Avenue, a notorious fly tipping site. The road is not unusual in having rear access to gardens and garages and if equipped with a stout walking staff and a pair of Wellington boots you can walk all the way through from Heron Hill to Abbey Road, houses on one side, Lesnes Abbey Woods on the other.
As you can well imagine, given Bexley Council’s well known intransigence over the disposal of large unwanted items and certain sections of the community’s even better known criminal inclinations, fly tipping along the track is a huge problem, whole truck loads of it.
Bexley Council’s answer was to put a gate across the road and lock it. As a result of this act of mindless vandalism many residents had their cars trapped along the lane. One at least had a planned weekend away and had to spend a fortune on train fares instead. A train fare which Bexley Council refused to reimburse.
The track is not Bexley Council’s to block but presumably the residents would be happy to see it gated if they were told the lock code.
Bexley Council’s excuse is said to be that when the lock was put on the gate they gave the code to a man working on a nearby allotment and asked him to pass it on to any residents he might know. You couldn’t make this up and I am hoping my informant didn’t.
Presumably the story is bona fide because I decided that the situation demanded more urgent action than a blog, I reported the story instead to Belvedere Councillor Sally Hinkley. She had already heard it and was on the case and determined to find a solution. Unfortunately but perhaps not unexpectedly her scheduled meeting with the relevant officials is still some way into the future.
Meanwhile the gate has been unlocked.
Recent weeks have seen up to three out of four of Abbey Wood station’s Stannah lifts out of order at the same time and Bexley Council’s flyover works causing all four walkways to be closed. The disabled and people with luggage or buggies were simply stuck. Additionally bus passengers coming from the north faced an enormous detour along Knee Hill and Wilton Road and have done for many weeks.
Maybe I am an optimist but the problems may be about to be minimised, but not before officialdom grabs what could be their last chance of inflicting more chaos on long suffering residents.
Yesterday evening, a mere eight weeks behind schedule, Bexley Council’s contractor FM Conway began the resurfacing work. The flyover closure is from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night this week.
No information was made available to bus passengers and I failed to fully understand the diversion signs put out for motorists.
I escorted a young lady (just visible in the Photo) to the station who had been directed by someone in McLeod Road who should have known that the walkway has not been available for a couple of months. Having got that far she was stumped and the man putting up the diversion signs had no idea where the station was.
Once there I discovered a small gaggle of people waiting at the station bus stop which said nothing about there being no buses. I escorted several to the Knee Hill stop in the hope of finding a Thamesmead bound 244 or 229/469. There are usually one or two 244s sitting at the Knee Hill terminus but last night there were none but a 229 proclaiming Thamesmead on its front emerged from Abbey Road, circumnavigated the roundabout and retraced its route.
I was surprised to see it shoot up New Road instead of heading directly to the next railway crossing at Picardy Manorway (next to Asda and B&Q). All the Abbey Road bus stops had people waiting in vain for a non-existent service. None bore any information about the cancelled services. A correspondent told me later that Picardy Manorway was closed too and the 401 which normally uses it was also on diversion. Where the 229 went no one is sure.
The local Facebook page has comments from loads of people who had no idea what was going on and provided evidence that Bexley Council was referring matters to TfL and vice versa.
Bureaucracy at its very best.
Bellegrove Road improvements
If further proof was needed that Bexley's Road design team is total rubbish, these pictures have just arrived from a Welling resident. There have been frequent accidents ever since the so called Welling Corridor was so called Improved six years ago. The same team that was responsible for Abbey Road in Belvedere and with much the same result as you can see.
A man who raised an objection to the Bellway Homes development on the old Civic Office site received a letter yesterday from Bexley Council to say that his objection had had no effect. The Bellway application was approved on 14th June. Quick work Bexley Council, you must be very proud of the efficiency levels achieved.
Sainsbury’s Abbey Wood
You know how I heartily dislike that store but it is very convenient for my frequent shopping deliveries to the 98 year old in East Ham.
Yesterday, as usual, I struggled to find fresh food - she likes cakes, especially creamy ones - with more than a day’s shelf life and once again they had no semi-skimmed milk in her preferred one pint size. It was business as usual but it is always nice to have the store almost to one’s self on a weekday afternoon.
All was relatively well as I went through the self-service till with a well loaded basket until another customer was told to get her trolley out of the less than half filled self-service area. I have several times been forced to push a trolley through it because no regular check outs were available. I said to the attendant “One more reason not to use Sainsbury’s”. I got the dumb insolence look and silence. I reeled off a list of recent store failures but the woman just walked away without a word. That’s three times over three or four months that has happened, different assistant each time so maybe part of Sainsbury’s basic training regime.
After I had paid I asked the same woman to send for a manager as I wished to complain about her personally. You can guess what she did so I went over to Customer Services and asked again.
Someone I had not seen before came to see me quite quickly and I repeated my complaints. The response was minimal except when I suggested that there must be a vicious circle in play. The number of customers is low so the stock levels are reduced to suit and the sell by dates go right up to the line because too few people are buying and the net result is that too many customers go elsewhere. It was clear that I had struck a chord with that one. Sainsbury’s Abbey Wood offers a sub-standard service and is attracting so few customers that it cannot economically improve.
If Sainsbury’s acquisition of Asda goes through you can guess which local store will close. It will be a shame but at the same time richly deserved.
Abbey Wood Village Food & Craft Market appears to have been a total success although I won’t know
for sure until I attend the traders’ ‘inquest’ later in the week. However
the fact that I came home £38 lighter and the popcorn and candy floss vendor
packed up and went away at four o’clock because he had run out of ingredients
suggests it couldn’t have been a flop.
The raffle prizes were pretty amazing too, two of them were worth £100 each and some others not far behind. They were provided by 14 of the 22 (?) traders on the street, it’s a sad fact that a minority take no interest in the traders’ association.
Teresa Pearce MP kindly agreed to provide the opening words and cut the ribbon and the Mayor of Greenwich, Christine May, pulled the raffle tickets from the ‘hat’.
Mrs. May is a very different sort of Mayor to those I have found in Bexley, very friendly, spoke to every stall holder and happy to have her photograph taken. Definitely none of the nonsense to be found in Bexley.
I am quietly confident that there will be another Abbey Wood Village market before Christmas.
Market photos from setting up until the end.
you will have noticed, I am taking several days off; there is not a lot of
Council stuff going on right now, if I wanted a plentiful supply of idiocy I
should perhaps consider moving to Barnet or Greenwich. I have another good reason
for few blogs but maybe not to be mentioned on Bonkers just yet.
At long last Harrow Manorway looks to be nearing completion, it’s late but not as late as Crossrail but these things almost inevitably hit unforeseen snags.
There will be massive inconvenience for Thamesmead residents for the whole of next week 7 p.m. until 2 a.m.
On Saturday the long awaited Wilton Road Market will begin at mid-day in the Abbey Arms car park. Opening by Teresa Pearce MP and a raffle drawn around 16:30 by the Mayor of Greenwich. There will be some seriously good prizes donated by the Wilton Road traders. They include vouchers of £10, £50 and even £100 and not just to be spent in the local shops, some in national chains.
The two local beauty salons will be handing out freebies and there are bathroom essentials from the chemist’s shop to be won. Several bottles of spirits too.
The main theme will be food and craft products with a few things to keep the children happy too.
Bexley Council is still on its Summer break, at least in so far as
interesting meetings are concerned. It will be another two weeks before I have to
drag myself along to the Council Chamber. Meanwhile there is not a lot to report.
I did my weekly reconnoitre of the Harrow Manorway road works this morning and there was very little new to be seen compared with last week. Now that Crossrail is deferred by at least nine months Bexley Council will feel able to let the interminable delays continue. The work was originally slated for completion by August, hence the file name date 08.2602.php chosen 18 months ago. (26th August 2018.)
For better news one has to look to Cabinet Member Philip Read of all people. He has been indulging in a little trumpet blowing over the success of his department in dragging Children’s Services up to acceptable performance levels. ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Outstanding’ in just six years. Enticing Jacky Tiotto away from her former job with OFSTED may have been his master stroke.
The steady progress made since Philip Read’s predecessor made a total hash of things has been reported many times on Bonkers. As a Conservative I was a little concerned that Bexley Council took the lead role in organising a cartel to distort the market for care agencies and raise the taxes paid by employees. I don’t quite see the point of the Conservative party now that its answer to everything is more tax.
Philip Read’s article is on Conservative Home and I note that at the time of writing the Comments section tend to take a similar view to my own. However there can be no getting away from the fact that an ‘Outstanding’ assessment by OFSTED is a notable and commendable achievement. No more Rhys Lawries.
since Bexley Council thought it was a good idea to make Abbey Road in Belvedere
so narrow that its 20 buses an hour cannot safely pass each other, accidents
have been a commonplace whereas before 2009 it was not an accident blackspot.
Bexley Council’s incompetence with road design has been done to death on Bonkers so it may not be the right time to repeat it all but here’s a simple pictorial reminder instead.
I would guess by the red paint on the white van that the driver tried to overtake the bus and maybe failed to see the pedestrian refuge which Bexley Council likes to place adjacent to bus stops.
It was explained to me nine years ago that narrow roads cause accidents because they reduce the available recovery time when drivers make a mistake.
Obvious really, unless perhaps you are Bexley’s senior Highway Engineer. Promoted to that position after inflicting the Abbey Road calamity on to Bexley’s long suffering residents.
But look on the bright side, it may be as much as three months since we last saw a collision at this very same spot.
A BiB reader who takes more trips to Bexley’s recycling centre than I do says
a new notice has gone up at the Thames Road dump. In retaliation for
Council’s decision to charge Bexley residents a tenner for using theirs, it warns
users that they too will be charged ten pounds if they are unable to prove they
live within the rotten borough.
Petty minded officialdom or what?
As already noted, as a retaliatory action it doesn’t really work. No Greenwich resident is going to drive an extra seven miles for the dubious pleasure of using Bexley’s inferior facilities.
Always remember; a Council’s first priority is always to make the lives of citizens that little bit worse than it used to be. It is the only thing they are good at.
Stand by for Dartford Council doing the same thing now that their residents are disadvantaged.
Note: I have been informed that Dartford Council already bans Bexley residents from their recycling centre.
If I was to trawl through
the Statement Maxine Fothergill made to Kent
Police last year which resulted in them charging me with harassment there would
be more than a dozen comments with which I would take issue, but that is not of
great interest in the current context which is my complaint against Kent Police for not
checking anything in that Statement.
When the Statement was first signed Kent Police could not have known whether Fothergill was lying or not and presumably some parts of it would only be tested in Court. But there were things that had been signed as being truthful that should have rung alarm bells in the mind of any half competent plod.
The Sergeant who considered the Statement might have raised his eyebrows at the claim that I was directly responsible for a perforated bowel and kidney failure but evidently he did not.
I would have hoped that a competent officer might have noticed that a long series of blogs supported Maxine Fothergill and didn’t overall attack her as Fothergill claimed. If he had been really on the ball he might have noticed that some of the dates provided were wrong but that is edging towards the trivial, but he also missed the big one.
Former Bexley Councillor Maxine Fothergill claimed that she was found not guilty by Bexley’s Code of Conduct Committee which as everyone knows isn’t true. However a page or two further on she admits to considering, along with my associate and former solicitor John Watson, having the Committee’s verdict Judicially Reviewed.
What? You are found innocent and want to have that verdict Judicially Reviewed? You would think that even the most incompetent Kent Police officer would wonder what all of that was about, but Sergeant Robbie Cooke appears not to have done.
His Inspector said there were lessons to be learned but further up the line it was decided that no one made any mistakes. And some still wonder why I am happy to label the police corrupt.