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Bonkers Blog May 2019

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30 May - Praise where praise is due

The annual Mayor making meeting is always a fun evening for friends and families of Councillors, especially those of the incoming and outgoing Mayors and their Deputies. Yesterday’s seemed even more so than usual.
The Labour Group went through their customary routine of proposing one of their own as Mayor but have yet to grasp the fact that generosity and equality is the preserve of other Councils, not Bexley. It is doubtful that any Conservative was even listening to the list of virtues possessed by Councillor Stefano Borella which were so cleverly catalogued by Councillor Joe Ferreira.

The Labour Group’s token effort to appoint a Labour Mayor is nothing but a charade. Everything is choreographed to perfection beforehand right down to the neatly fitting robes.

Tory disdain for a Labour Mayor did not however stop Labour Leader Daniel Francis from voicing my own view, that outgoing Mayor Brian Bishop was the best we have seen for a very long time; not a single awkward moment except perhaps when he muddled a name or two.

Usually some mischievous Councillor will reel off a list of the outgoing Mayor’s weaknesses and mistakes, frequently not suitable for public broadcast in my opinion but Councillor Eileen Pallen whose job it was to formally thank Councillor Bishop for his year of service said that her research had failed to reveal anything embarrassing at all. A surprise to no one.

SeymourThe new Mayor Councillor Geraldene Lucia-Hennis was proposed by her old friend and ward colleague Councillor Seymour (the Photo is from 9th March 2011) and looked resplendent in her scarlet outfit although the prize for elegance must go to Councillor Richard Diment’s wife who had spent the afternoon at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party and came down to earth with a bump by having to sit next to me. A very pleasant lady if I may say so.

Mayor Geraldene Lucia-Hennis showed a side I hadn’t seen before with her sometimes emotional acceptance speech. She won a well deserved round of prolonged applause and perhaps a friend on Bonkers.

When the formal business of the meeting commenced all the signs were that she intends to rival her predecessor’s professionalism.

Mayor Bishop Councillor Lucia-Hennis Mayor Lucia-Hennis Mayor Lucia-Hennis

Mayor Lucia-Hennis Deputy Mayor James Hunt Councillor Daniel Francis Mayor Bishop

Bexley’s new Chief Executive Jackie Belton failed to put in an appearance; Finance Director Paul Thorogood ably took her place.

Council Press Release.


29 May - Belvedere and other Roads

No sooner had I repeated my Belvedere Road correspondent’s report on the bungalow which Bexley Council bought for a reported £638,000 than he comes back with an update.

63 Belvedere Road looks like it’s occupied. Small black car in drive and loads of empty packaging in drive plus an overflowing green wheelie bin which if it was mine wouldn’t get emptied because overfull.

Well that’s nice, at least someone is getting the benefit of all that tax money.

RoadMeanwhile a mile or two to the North, Bexley Council is spending an awful lot of Network Rail’s money on creating a largely pedestrianised area on the Northern flank of the new railway station.

It’s not going to be suitable for large vehicles is it but if the shops are to be serviced some provision for them will have to be made.

If those parking bays are full the road will have to be blocked.

Just around the corner there is a 6'6" width restrictor with no room to turn around.

Felixstowe Road
Will we get the promised trees? Gayton Road didn’t.


28 May - Mayor making

It seems like half a lifetime since the last Council meeting of note, but tomorrow Bexley Council will hold a public meeting; nothing very controversial, it’s only the annual festival of boozing and cake which celebrates the appointment, coronation, inauguration, anointment even - whatever it’s called - of a new Mayor. It is going to be Councillor Geraldene Lucia-Hennis so the year ahead may be a lot more fun than the last one with a Bishop for a Mayor.

The problem with him, that is Councillor Brian Bishop in case you have forgotten, is that he got through his entire year as Mayor without deviating from his businesslike, professional and calm oversight of the job, and for a politician, commendably even handed decisions.

Where’s the entertainment value in that?

Lucia-HennisCouncillor Lucia-Hennis promises so much more but whether her plans run to table dancers no one can be certain but we should perhaps expect the unexpected.

No one expected her to organise a strip show in a pub which did not have an entertainment licence; but she did. It even attracted the then Mayor Sharon Massey to its front row.

The event was excused by the then Chief Executive who said it “was neither a formal Council function, nor a Mayoral function” but a Freedom of Information request showed that to be not entirely true. The event warranted an entry in the Mayor’s diary. One might also ask why the Council made no attempt to penalise the Councillor for a blatant breach of licensing law.

A fun year may indeed lie ahead but I doubt very much that it can be better than 2010/2011. That was the year of Mayor Clark, Councillor Val Clark that is.

She had little idea of how to control a meeting although it can be said in her defence that since the coming of webcasting Councillors have been a lot less boisterous and less of a problem to inadequate Mayors.

Clark’s party trick was to claim that what she was doing in her Chairmanship role was entirely in accordance with the rulings of The Right Honourable Sir Walter Citrine in his famed reference book ‘ABC of Chairmanship’.

I had my own copy so I knew that most of what she said was hogwash.

My warmest memory of my formative years in and around the Bexley Council Chamber was reading a letter Mayor Clark sent to a member of the public. He had sat unmoved by her praise for someone or other and the letter to his home address complained about his "parsimonious appreciation".
The degree of silliness on display within Bexley Council may have reached its peak with the obscenities happily posted on line by a Cabinet Member but five to ten years ago it was widespread, someone must have decided to clean things up.

Another newcomer on display tomorrow will be the new Chief Executive Jackie Belton. The last time we had a new Chief Executive in Bexley she used her enormous intellect to declare war on the Press and me in particular - she sent me an email to announce her decision but not the local newspaper reporters. She decided that withdrawing the limited Press facilities that had been provided at Council meetings for many years was the right way to win friends and influence people.

I am quietly confident that we will not see such idiocy again. Life is so much more pleasant when new grounds for criticism are hard to come by.


25 May - Care, crime and cream

Another Press Release
Bexley Council issued another Press Release last week - aimed at me possibly.

It is entitled ‘Are you a Bexley Carer?’ and offers to provide useful information on the borough’s care services. I think I will subscribe to their newsletters, I may learn more about how to deal with Newham Council.

Incidentally they reneged on their offer to fund respite care for four weeks but as we only took advantage of it for five nights I am too tired to argue.

Another break in
I was asked to go and look at an attempted break in last week, not the sort of thing I usually do but it was in my own road.

When I moved to a house opposite Lesnes Abbey in May 1987 I discovered that the area was a hotbed of crime, My windows had a brick through them when I had only been here for three days. A couple of months later my fence was burned down in the middle of the night. I was woken by the noise of a fire engine parked on my front drive and the police refused to investigate the woman standing 50 yards away with a petrol can in her hand.

Burglars hopping over the railway line from Thamesmead was a regular event and it was an easy escape route that no one dared to follow.

Then it all quietened down and been reasonably peaceful ever since.

Door TrainThe latest evidence of a break in looked a little odd to me, it seemed like the damage an over-enthusiastic squirrel might cause. If it was an attack by a would-be burglar why use a chisel when a club hammer on the glass might be more effective?

I was later informed that it was the work of a maintenance man looking for wood rot but he hadn’t bothered to warn any resident.

While there I was reminded of how close to house windows the trains run. No privacy, no sound deflection.

It wasn’t always like that but Network Rail removed the conifers in 2015 and took away the residents’ own larch lap fence and replaced it with a cheap chain link affair which offers no protection at all.

There were complaints but Network Rail simply ignored the protests.

63 Belvedere Road
Bexley Council bought the bungalow at 63 Belvedere Road last year; it is right next door to the entrance to the Council Leader’s own private park and the suspicion was that if it were to be demolished the park would become a nice little building site for BexleyCo.

The suspicions were allayed just a little when the entrance was slightly modified last January but someone living close by who takes a keen interest on developments there says he has seen absolutely no sign of occupation.

Maybe there are reasons for longer term concerns after all.

MilkshakeFor reasons best known to themselves, milkshakes have become the weapon of choice for the politically illiterate. It seemed to me that the throwers were entirely comprised of the sort of morons who are too often attracted to the Labour Party. That is not intended to be a criticism of the Labour Party which attracts a lot of good people, it is more commiseration than complaint. I doubt the level headed majority approve of throwing anything at politicians, they certainly didn’t when Jeremy Corbyn was egged.

I follow all shades of political opinion on Twitter because it is too easy to live in a Social Media bubble but when the follower who causes my eyebrows to shoot upwards almost every day suggested crowd funding the Farage milkshake thrower’s legal expenses after he was charged with common assault I said something about it.

I shouldn’t have lowered myself to a debate with a supporter of a criminal but something tipped me over the edge. He didn’t seem to get the fact that aiders and abetters of crime are very little better than the criminals themselves and he demanded an apology for me eventually concluding he was dim. To please him I apologised for participating in a Twitter spat but my views haven’t changed one jot.

To prevent a recurrence I stopped following the two Labour supporters who are the worst offenders and perhaps an embarrassment to their party.

I was pleased to see that Thamesmead East Councillor Danny Hackett was on my side, he knows all about being attacked by the extreme left. Just the one attack for being on the side of the law abiding was enough for me; I’m not sure how Danny survived the onslaught on him.


20 May - Bexley Conservatives. Lying naturally from 2013 through to 2019

TweetThis Tweet looks to be fairly innocuous but it needs to be examined by someone with a long memory.

It claims that Bexley Council expected to save a million pounds by moving into new offices instead of spreading themselves over several sites but instead saved £2 million.

Well done! Congratulations are due.

It is absolutely true that a one million pound saving was the original plan, it was broadcast over the Council’s display screens before the old offices closed. See the ‘Blue’ image below.

The subject was discussed at a Council meeting in April 2013

However ten months later with an election approaching there was a need to exaggerate the savings, Bexley Tories slipped in a figure of £1·5 million in February 2014. (The ‘Green’ image.) It was thought to be a lie at the time and now Bexley Conservatives have confirmed that it was.

They are not going to use that figure now because saving a million in 2019 looks very much better than saving only half a million.
Lie 1 Lie 2
Lie 3This Tweet is fairly self-explanatory. It claims that Bexley Tories were campaigning to move the Northumberland Heath bus stop as long ago as 2017 when everyone knows that they didn’t do a thing about the traffic congestion caused by Tesco delivery lorries from the moment the store opened at the end of 2012 until Labour Councillor Wendy Perfect adopted the six year old problem and got things moving.

If the Conservatives had been seriously interested in solving the problem they could have signed off a few orders years ago. They knew it was going to be a problem, they said so at the planning meeting.

They did nothing until they saw a Labour Councillor taking the initiative.


19 May (Part 2) - Facebook Folly

While I was stuck in East Ham two weeks ago watching an old lady sleeping there was frequently not a lot to do apart from playing with a laptop. Never before have I read so many Facebook posts.

It can be an interesting insight into human behaviour. In Bexley there are apparently hordes of Facebook readers, many of them attached to female names, who are extremely angry most of the time. The F and C words are part of their everyday vocabulary. And then there are the busybodies who get hold of the wrong end of the stick and start some sort of war between their supporters and those with a little more sense.

Welling roundaboutOne such bad tempered debate kept me entertained over several hours until the congenitally argumentative moved on to pastures new. It concerned the roundabout on Upper Wickham Lane where it meets Oakhampton Crescent.

It is a junction I use every week or so when heading home to Abbey Wood. I get in the right hand lane as indicated by the road markings and at the start of Oakhampton Crescent turn left into Lodge Hill.

I’ve never seen anyone make that manoeuvre differently to me however the aforesaid busybody had video’d a red car doing the same and posted it on video as an example of how not to do it.

The situation was complicated by the driver of a grey car which followed the straight ahead lane marked with a straight arrow (bottom left of satellite image) and then turned right into the path of the red car.

The busybody on a speeding motorcycle said it was the red car driver who got it all wrong and far too many readers supported him.

The motorcyclist justified his ridiculous interpretation of events by claiming that the roundabout had four arms and that Lodge Hill was the straight ahead and the road to Plumstead was a left turn.

If he had paid attention to the road signs (Photo 1) instead of fiddling with his camera he may have noticed the roundabout sign - Photo 1. It only shows three arms.

If he had approached from a different direction he should have seen the circles on sticks indicating a roundabout. Lodge Hill is different, it has a Give Way sign. At ground level it has a white line quite separate from the one at the roundabout.

Welling roundabout Welling roundabout Welling roundabout Welling roundabout

The speeding motorcyclist was quite obviously wrong in what he said about which lane should be chosen when heading for Lodge Hill but the worrying thing was that so many people agreed with him. By his definition he was not only speeding but also in the wrong lane himself!

Entering Lodge Hill never was the easiest of manoeuvres but now I know there are so many confused drivers using the route I will be extra vigilant. My new car sounds a warning if someone creeps up on the inside, it was probably an extra worth paying for.

The original Facebook idiocies may be read here and a low resolution copy of the video is below. Low enough to obscure the number plate of the innocent red car driver and the speedometer of the not so innocent motorcyclist. The original Facebook video is of higher quality if you want to see number plates.

Andrew Bashford (Bexley’s road designer) should probably read the thread, it contains a few tips on how he might improve an awkward junction. The inside lane shouldn’t extend beyond the road to Plumstead but no one at Bexley Council is bright enough to recognise that. A pot of paint would fix it.


19 May (Part 1) - The Green Man emerges

The Abbey Arms
Fashions change. The 1930s look comes back to Abbey Wood.

One of the contractors told me yesterday that the internal refurbishment of the Abbey Arms would be completed in the second week of June.


18 May - Back home

I’ve just realised I didn’t finish the saga of my aunt and the care home, so in brief…

She hated it just as she did when last put in one. I didn’t like it either. The inmates mainly said nothing so were no company for her and there were some over-amorous old men on the prowl - and one woman which I discovered for myself!

On my first visit my aunt told me she thought she was lost and would never see anyone she knew again. “It is a miracle you managed to find me.”

She was so obviously miserable that another plan was called for. I spent two days reorganising her house. Various small items of furniture to the dump and a bedroom downstairs.

I got her home again on Thursday afternoon. She has not objected to the new layout but it will take time for her to get used to it. The confusion remains, some of it would be funny in different circumstances.

When I last phoned she knew who I was but said I shouldn’t visit because she had to go to work. I persuaded her it was Saturday and she need not go. By then she thought I was her employer. Goodness knows how this will end. Maybe some people dump their old folk in a home and try to forget them, it’s probably the only way they can get their life back. But hard to do. Probably impossible for me.

Newham Council said they would fund the care home for four weeks to give me time to make alternative arrangements. She was in the home for five nights. Yesterday Newham Council notified me of the forthcoming bill.

Pretty much nothing goes right in Newham.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


17 May - Failing Grayling

GraylingNormally when you see those two words together on a website it will be a reference to railway franchises. If it is a local website it will likely be From The Murky Depths.

However what is less likely to be reported by Mr. Murky is The Probation Service and Chris Grayling’s involvement with it. Privatised by The Grayling Failure in May 2014 and an unmitigated disaster over the subsequent five years. Now it is going back into Public Ownership.

Who could possible have foreseen that?

Well plenty actually. The late Councillor Mike Slaughter listened to Grayling’s plan in October 2013 and like me thought it was “gobbledegook”. Councillor Alan Downing admitted to not understanding it.

Councillor Val Clark said that privatisation was “change for changes’ sake”.

Six month’s earlier Bexley Council had invited Rob Clark, a senior Probation Service employee, to address them and heard him say that in future offenders would merely attend the probation service premises, put their thumb on a £25,000 print reader to prove they had been there and turn round and walk out again. No use whatever and he was not a happy man. Councillors Philip Read, Nigel Betts and Brenda Langstead all thought it looked like a waste of time and money.

It was obvious well before Grayling imposed the mad scheme on his obviously sceptical staff that it was doomed to fail. Bexley Councillors from both sides of the political divide could see it coming but not the £100,000 Chris Grayling.

Source blogs.
April 2013.
October 2013.
February 2014.


16 May - Gayton Road, open at last

Gayton Road Gayton RoadYesterday morning Wilton Road, Gayton Road and Florence Road in Abbey Wood, next door to the so called Crossrail station, reopened for traffic and the 244 bus reverted to its old route.

If you look at the first picture on this page you will see Bexley Council’s notice said that work would start on 1st October and take four months. October, November, December, January which is why there are 300 odd photographs in a folder named 02/0101. The 1st February.

The job is not finished yet but it surely cannot be too much longer.

It all looks pretty good, the 15+ promised trees have not materialised and I doubt they ever will. I will watch closely for movement on the right angle bends made of blocks sitting on compacted sand. Bus wheels are destructive.

Probably it’s only a matter of time before someone comes dashing down the station steps and doesn’t notice the road. It seems to be happening already.

My only complaint when there yesterday lunch time on a brilliant sunny day was the glare coming from the fresh white paving but chewing gum, beer stains, fag ends and rubber skid marks will soon fix that.

The gutters on the newly resurfaced Wilton Road are already full of detritus. One wonders where it comes from because Network Rail and Bexley Council have contrived to drive all the shoppers away.


15 May - Why, why, why? Yoga, Yellow, Yuck

It’s two weeks before the next Council meeting so Bonkers will have to tread water while Bexley Councillors take a break. I shall have to learn from that motor mouth Steve Allen on LBC Radio who prattles on about anything and nothing for three hours every morning. He spouts inconsequential trivia without audience input for three whole hours. It's some sort of genius or perhaps insanity, I am not quite sure.

Maybe there is a market for it, when Bonkers went wildly off topic while I was in East Ham for most of last week, the site visitors went up and not down. I shall have to be there again in an hour or two so this short blog may go out incomplete at first and added to later.

There was a brief aside about the Yoga Club that used to operate from the Lesnes Abbey Lodge, but does so no more. I said I didn’t really know why.

YogaA reader helpful as ever educated me.

Bexley Council was being completely unreasonable so the club owner upped sticks and found somewhere better.

The problem with people who sit in ivory towers is that they have never done anything creative in their lives, relying on their dictatorial powers to ride roughshod over hard working people sometimes for their own personal satisfaction.

The full statement is available by clicking the image and the Yoga Club’s website is here.

I still struggle with Facebook but for the masochists out there

Long term fly tipping
Van VanTwo yellow vans were abandoned opposite my house about ten years ago, it might be longer. A neighbour who lived in the adjacent flat for eight years and moved out two years ago told me they were there before he bought the flat.

The ‘creosote’ on the fence behind them has faded almost to invisibility but you can still see the outline where no one could reach to apply the preservative.

Over the years they have been reported to various Councillors and Council officers. The Tory Councillors did nothing, the officers said there was nothing they could do because the vans are not on public land.

My reports fell on deaf ears because of who I am, one of my fly tipping reports reached Cabinet Member Craske which was probably the kiss of death because it was allowed to fizzle out.

Councillor Danny Hackett reported the vans which were full of wood and other combustible materials as a fire hazard. There was some toing and froing but he kept hitting the same brick wall. Not our land, not our business if an arsonist sets the adjacent flats on fire.

After the 2018 election Councillor Dave Putson (Labour, Belvedere) took up the cudgels. One of the vans disappeared about three months ago and now he tells me the other one should go soon.

He has persuaded the Council officers to take action against the land owner. Well done Dave and the Council officer who saw sense.

As already reported, former Bexley Councillor and libel expert Maxine Fothergill was not allowed to stand as a Conservative Councillor in Sevenoaks on 2nd May. Too many skeletons available to web searches presumably but in the recent rather strange election Independents did well. Although Sevenoaks bucked the national trend to some extent it was often a case of anyone but Conservative or Labour. Maxine Fothergill was elected by the gullible of Fawkham as an Independent.

Maybe the police protection she appears to have enjoyed for many years is coming to an end, everyone she accused of theft but the police exonerated have been re-interviewed by the police as witnesses looking for the missing (minimum) hundred grand.

Sevenoaks Councillors.

This is not new news of course and apologies to the informer who let me know about it within hours of the results being declared, spare time has as you know been in short supply recently.


14 May - Newham University Hospital. The Omnibus Edition

It’s a long time since Bonkers has required me to write anything like new php code - I am no good at it - but this morning I cobbled together a few lines which grabs all the Newham Hospital related blogs and dumps them into one long web page.

Easier to read but maybe more importantly it can be tailored to attract Google searches for the hospital rather than being linked to Bexley Council, not that Google takes much notice of such things any more.

It is here and on the Miscellany Menu too.

I am wondering whether it is hypocritical to retain the tag line of ‘Vindictive’ on Bexley Council pages after setting up the new one devoted to the calamity caused by Discharge Consultant Doctor Charlotte Pratt, GMC Number 3083318. But she deserves it.

My aunt is desperately unhappy in the respite home where despite having a ten minute memory span is the intelligent one there.

“I am so glad you found me. I thought I was lost. It’s a miracle you are here. Are we going home now?” A home incidentally that she didn’t recognise last week.

Now the hunt for something better. It will be relatively inexpensive to turn a downstairs room into a bedroom and further increase the number of care visits. Why didn’t I think of that before? I will give that a go.

Looks like the rest of this week is spoken for!


13 May - Andrew Marr’s car crash interview. A ‘Must Watch’

I’m not quite sure when I gave up watching BBC TV, it wasn’t sudden, it just died a lingering death. Well over a year ago I would think.

BBC Radio listening declined after I bought an Internet Radio which provided far more choice. Eventually, on BBC, I was reduced to listening only to The Archers. My Mother had listened to it from the very beginning, 1951 or 1952, so I sort of grew up with it.

My last episode was the one when Brian Aldrich was being taken to Court for polluting a river and some fictional thug attacked him on the way in. Off it went straight away and has not been back on since. No idea when that was but a good few months ago. The Archers addiction is cured.

I don’t even listen to the programme my daughter produces for Radio 4 each week. She sometimes tells me of the trials and tribulations of getting a programme on air and I admire her dedication to hard work, long hours and stress very much, but I still can’t be bothered to listen.

But perhaps I should have watched the Marr Show, is that what it is called?, this weekend. Nigel Farage is perhaps a Marmite figure but his interview with Marr demonstrates exactly why his three week old Brexit Party is topping the polls. The Establishment figures just do not have a clue what is going on in the country. Rightly or wrongly Farage dominated the interview and you have to be one of the worst sort of Remainers to believe it wasn’t him who will benefit from it.

When the opportunity arises I meet up with Mick Barnbrook, Elwyn Bryant and John Watson, all occasional - ahem, very occasional! - helpers on Bonkers.

Brexit is nearly always on our agenda and opinions vary a little week by week. We won’t get it, it will be a BRINO Brexit, it will be a WTO Brexit etc.

My view for a long time has been that we will only get Brexit if the Tories are annihilated at a General Election and Labour is decimated - in the modern sense of the word - and a new listening party comes to the fore. Maybe I should have put some money on it.

When Andrew Marr next interviews Jeremy Corbyn, will he be questioned on his support for Hamas, Hezbollah, the IRA, anti-Semitism, Venezuela and Marxism whilst ignoring the topic of the day? Or does Marr only attempt to smear those he disagrees with? The BBC at its very best. And they wonder why viewing and listening numbers have been plummeting.


12 May (Part 3) - Danny and me. In and out of trouble

It was in 1969 or 70 that I was featured on the front page of The Daily Mail. A GPO Spokesman said…

I’d been called in by the Public Relations Manager as the supposed expert on telephone directories after The Daily Mail had got its knickers in a twist about the plan to computerise their production.

The Daily Mail reporter summarised what I had said and my reply is etched into my mind. “You know I didn’t say that!” “I know but it is what I am going to print anyway.”

I came into the office next day and someone flung a copy of that nasty little rag on to my desk. I responded “what a load of bollocks” and the bad language landed me in a lot of trouble with all the old men in the office, most of whom didn’t like the idea of me dabbling with those new fangled computers.

I’d have probably got into a lot more serious trouble if the Press Officer didn’t know exactly what I had said.

In the space of fifty years bollocks and crap and similar words have become much more commonly used in every day speech but newspapers still habitually asterisk them and OFCOM won’t let them be used in news programmes.

BollocksBut it is OK for the Lib Dems to adopt Bollocks to Brexit for their Euro campaign slogan? Vince Cable, his Deputy and the Lib Dums themselves really are a load of c**p aren’t they?

I am ashamed to say I voted Liberal (not Lib Dem) once, a friend stood for election to Aldershot Council and I felt obliged to support him. That’s something I will never do again.

I voted for Danny Hackett (when he was Labour) and now that he has gone Independent I’d probably vote for him again.

I don’t know what is going through his mind these days; he is a hard man to get information from. Personally I wish he’d just get on with it and join the Conservatives. Trouble with that of course is that they are now - with any luck - on the verge of extinction. I’d be quite worried about that except that they are not Conservatives any more so who will miss them? (I except the major personalities on Bexley Council, most of them are proper Conservatives, Alex Sawyer, Blogger Craske, John Davey, Andy Dourmoush and Philip Read - most of the time. There are more, Teflon Teresa O’Neill too.)

So what is Danny up to? I get the impression he knows he is in a bit of trouble. Before he took his leap into the unknown he was on LBC Radio bemoaning the state of the Labour Party.

Thamesmead East Councillor Danny Hackett on LBC Radio.

For his brief chat with Eddie Mair too many of his friends and former colleagues ganged up on him. Vile stuff some of it. One of the worst warranted a response from Danny, he said they were talking “Bollocks. Bollocks. Bollocks”.

No one took much notice at the time in fact no one took any notice even after Danny left the Labour Party but some time later Danny’s mood changed.

Let me speculate.

I would not discount the possibility that someone reported Danny to the Code of Conduct Committee for the B word just as Councillor Dourmoush said they would. If so it will be great fun to see him defend himself.

But maybe the crass behaviour of the silly old fool (he is even older than I am!) known as Vince Cable will scupper my chances of reporting on a juicy Bexley Council scandal. It’s been a very long time since we had one of those.
The reference to porn on a laptop and dodgy house selling is brilliant isn’t it? (Buying actually but who cares?)

Is this all speculation? I will leave you guessing.


12 May (Part 2) - A ha’porth of tar

For months I have been making an almost daily photographic record of the work being done by F.M. Conway in Gayton Road, Abbey Wood. I am a little annoyed to have been forced to miss the main event, the resurfacing of it and the adjacent Wilton and Florence Roads.

Fortunately I have been sent some pictures by sympathetic readers. Those taken on phones demonstrate why I choose to lug around a great chunk of a camera but beggars can’t be choosers and I am grateful for what I can get. I’m never sure why most people insist on taking landscape type scenes with the phone held vertically, most of the time the sky holds little of interest, but time to stop moaning! But maybe not for long.

The first 15 photos you see here are by litter picker Roger Keene who knows how to capture a scene properly; he’s obtained some fine shots. By the end of the day you should see even more in the Photo Gallery.

Wilton Road Wilton Road Wilton Road Wilton Road

Wilton Road Wilton Road Wilton Road Wilton Road

Wilton Road Wilton Road Wilton Road Wilton Road

Wilton Road Wilton Road Wilton Road Wilton Road

I’ve not often commented on the work except that the jobs run months late for various reasons - sometimes in excess of a year - but the standard of workmanship seems pretty good to me. Whoever decreed that the corners at each end of Gayton Road should be blocks bedded on nothing more than compressed sand may live to regret it especially as it is now confirmed that the 244 bus is to revert to its original route. My front drive was built the same way and the blocks have migrated slightly where I make the turn to the garage. My vehicle is red but it is not a bus.

A small journalistic annoyance is that I have sometimes managed to get hold of inside info from Bexley Council about what was going to happen next, report it here, and then they do something entirely different, like the paving right next to the Abbey Arms.

The resurfacing was finished on time just as I expected it to be complete with road markings to indicate it is a one way street. Unfortunately it is still a two way street blocked at the station end. As far as I know there have been no accidents yet but maybe Bexley Council could be held accountable if there were.

If I am allowed one more complaint it is that when I finally got home late last Friday evening there was no pedestrian access from Abbey Wood Road (Greenwich) to Abbey Road (Bexley) across the top end of Wilton Road without walking in the road mingling with the traffic. I was not alone in cursing that oversight.

The real moan is about trees. Bexley’s publicity shots show 15 to 20 trees in Gayton Road. Provision has been made for only three. I wonder if we wil ever get those benches. The drinkers and druggies will welcome them.
Gayton Road


12 May (Part 1) - They got that wrong! Badly wrong

A couple of years ago Bexley Council approved the building of a rail freight terminal in Slade Green. See also the map of the area.

The Labour Group objected and so did some of the more sensible Conservative Councillors objected too. June Slaughter, James Hunt and John Davey could see the downside but the upside was the £2,000,000 plus of Community Infrastructure Levy. The plan went through heavily backed by the Head of the Planning Department.

Fortunately for local residents a tiny bit of the proposed site fell in Dartford and their Council threw the plan out.

Almost unnoticed Bexley’s Labour Councillors kept up the pressure while the rail authorities appealed Dartford’s decision.

Last week the Secretary of State ruled against the freight depot saving local residents the many lorry trips involved and rail passengers the potential delays of the new access junction.

The Labour Group Press Release is here. I doubt we will be seeing one from Bexley Council.

The developer could apply for Judicial Review so Slade Green residents must keep their fingers crossed for a little while longer.


11 May - The end of an era. 78 years!

A difficult two weeks has come to an end. After being quite literally dumped on her doorstep with nothing but her clothes and handbag my aunt of very nearly 99 years is in a respite home funded by Newham Council for four weeks while I look for something more permanent.

Everyone, maybe you too, has found it difficult to believe that the hospital did and provided nothing whatever, not even the medication was sent out with her. Some of it came later by courier and when that package proved to be deficient I fetched the remainder myself.

As a result of Newham University Hospital’s failures the first injections were made two days late and only family intervention produced a physiotherapist. Last Thursday, very nearly three weeks after the femur was repaired and as a result of that neglect my aunt’s in-turning right foot is never likely to be straight again.

Some of the people masquerading as nurses don’t seem very bright to me. Trying to engage my aunt in conversation I said “tell the nurse where you were born”. She had forgotten so I chipped in “Rangoon, Burma”.

Blank looks!

So I added “it is called Myanmar now”. Still blank.

“It’s just east of India, it is all much the same place really.” It got me nowhere, she simply didn’t seem to recognise that India was a country. It reminded me of the time when a senior Newham Social Worker asked me what a Hampshire was. She’d never heard of it, didn’t know it was a County.

After being half promised respite care by last Tuesday, then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and with nothing happening, things were getting a bit desperate. Little sleep, very low on my gluten free diet, no shower and no functioning bath - a long story!

Fortunately friends were operating in the background. The appointed Social Worker, a regular in Wilton Road, Abbey Wood apparently, was banging his head against a brick wall, the prospect of a care home had been kicked into the middle of next week.

“I can’t understand it” he said. “You saw me making phone calls, I tried to get her in last Tuesday” he added apologetically, and so 3 p.m. Friday came and went and a long and smelly weekend was in prospect.

Olive KnightThen the Social Worker came back all excited, he had made a breakthrough and this morning the old lady was taken to her temporary home. Someone in Bexley should offer that man a local job.

What I now know happened and I presume was critical is that the Independent Councillor for Thamesmead East, the 25 year old Danny Hackett had metaphorically kicked the arse of the Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services in Newham and she in turn jumped on someone. I know because I have seen the emails.

So come the next election in Thamesmead, vote for Danny folks, you won’t get that sort of service from anyone else.

So at last a happy, well more satisfactory anyway, ending. She didn’t want to go; 78 years in the same house is a long time and it was all rather upsetting. “Please don’t leave me Daddy.”

Another friend was Teresa Pearce, I need hardly add the initials MP do I? She kept in touch by text message. When I said I was finally ready for the journey home both tired and smelly she offered to come and pick me up in her car. I declined but as I trudged my way along Fendyke Road from the station my slightly wobbly knees were suggesting I had made the wrong decision.

So that’s about it, back to something like normal tomorrow. Has anything been happening in Bexley?

Apologies if the off topic tales were not to your liking, there was frequently little else to do while away. As some will know I engaged in a Twitter war with Newham Hospital and researched their Tweets which were quite often bragging exchanges between staff members about how they were so good at throwing people out of hospital fast.

They must have realised what I was doing because the Chief Executive of the Hospital and the Tayberry Ward manager deleted their Twitter Accounts.

Next port of call, a medical negligence lawyer. How is it that we have so many very stupid people running this country? You only have to look to Westminster to see how it comes from the top. Sorry Teresa, there is always the exception to prove the rule.

When things have calmed down these blogs will be combined into a single page with suitable metadata etc. to provide a fitting memorial to Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318), the geriatric consultant who signed off my aunt as fit to live alone. Presumably it is ‘who cares, she is 99 let her die’. People like Charlotte Pratt should not be let anywhere near any position of power.

Thanks are however due to the concerned GP, the lady at the Clinical Commissioning Group who managed to interest Social Services in the case after they had refused and put the phone down on us twice. Also the ladies from Highland Care UK (Heigham Road, East Ham) who were absolutely fantastic. Every old lady should have a Mohima to look after her.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


10 May - It’s still no go in Newham

Ten health related visitors knocked on the door yesterday. Yes ten; but not the one I was waiting for. Someone to take the old lady to the respite centre.

A very small amount of hope had been held out that it would happen last Tuesday but it didn't happen on Wednesday or Thursday either. Various phone calls and visitors have convinced me that Newham’s systems are split into so many small sections that communication between them is limited and time consuming.

A further assessment for the already approved respite care is due later this morning.

That visit is one reason why I decided not to walk out on the situation last night even though the GP said I would be entirely justified in calling an ambulance and disappearing. That is in practice quite a difficult step to take even though the cretinous Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) said my aunt is entirely fit to be left alone. (I checked the papers again yesterday to make sure I was not libelling the fool.)

However another reason for not leaving yesterday evening is that Dr. Pratt and her ilk work eight hour shifts and then take two off. By not making any prior arrangements for discharge - not so much as a packet of pills - they condemn people like me to three eight hour shifts a day for days on end.

I judged I was too sleepy to make the train journey home and safely drive back with more supplies and maybe cleaner. Right now I stink of Dettol and possibly worse.

I have asked most of the visiting health professionals whether my aunt’s case is a one off serious mistake or if Newham Hospital does it to everyone. Some replies were more guarded than others but it would appear to be fairly common. One of them told me that medics locally have a very rude word for Newham University Hospital but wouldn’t tell me what it is. A second visitor confirmed it.

InvitationI have been invited to a meeting at Newham Hospital. They made it publicly on Twitter. What sort of idiot does that? Did they think that they would counter the bad publicity by demonstrating how approachable they are?

How do they think someone on 24/7 nursing duties can drop everything and go to meet them?

And they have overlooked one thing. When I do eventually meet them I want to have a medical negligence solicitor by my side.

If by chance you see me passing through Abbey Wood station later today, steer clear. Dettol and cr*p is not a nice combination and some has splashed on to my last remaining clothes.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


9 May - Promises promises. Broken promises

It looks like there will be a gaping hole in my photographic record of the regeneration of Gayton and Wilton Roads. One should already have been resurfaced and the other is scheduled to be done tonight. Wilton Road closes from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. tonight if I remember correctly. I may still be stuck in East Ham living off the remants of gluten free fruit loaf and eggs.

The Newham Social Services promises made on Tuesday came to nothing. I was left a number to call to make enquiries but it was busy all day long. Going back to my BT days, it was an equipment busy tone not the familar number engaged signal. Somone had left the office and turned all the telecoms equipment off.

I called the main Adults’ Services number and asked them to pass a message to the Social Worker and that department was so incompetent that they arranged an urgent District Nurse visit instead. Useless wasters.

The only bright spot is that a Doctor I had not heard of before phoned to tell me she had received a letter to say my aunt was approved for respite care and afterwards her regular GP who has not seen her for several months past called to say he would visit this morning.

And Teresa Pearce MP called me with advice. Good old Teresa, always there to help.

If it had not been for the doctor’s intended visit I would probably have carried out my plan to call an ambulance during the night.

There has been a mental deterioration and there can be no question of living alone again but the Catch 22 of not being able to sort out a care home while on 24/7 caring duties in East Ham remains.

From mid afternoon yesterday until 04:30 this morning there was frequent shouting out and no sensible conversation. Aunt just called for her Mum (deceased 1976) and when I was comforting her, “please don’t leave me Daddy”. (Deceased 1933.)

At 04:30 it all went quiet and I thought she had gone but it started all over again 20 minutes later. Right now I am just ignoring it, my presence makes no difference.

The utter prat known as Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) signed her fit enough to live alone. Why are such people kept in employment? - at four different hospitals apparently!

Both Newham Hospital and the local Clinical Commissioning Group have separately invited me to meet them and tell them of my concerns. I don't think there is anything to say that they cannot read here. I am quite pleased that if you Google Dr. Charlotte Pratt, Bonkers is now on the first page. I hope it blights her career for ever.

I am now an enthusiast for privatising the NHS, I don't think they are short of money, management positions and not a few others are filled with incompetents from top to bottom. That is the real problem.

After the doctor visits this morning I will activate my ambulance plan.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


8 May - It’s Desperation Day plus one in Newham

So here I am in East Ham trying to write a blog using Notepad while on 24/7 care duties with little by way of food and being coeliac can't easily order it in. Do I really want fifty quid’s worth of gluten free bread from Tescos?

A senior medic who may share my opinion of Newham General Hospital managed to get one ball rolling yesterday morning and the first Social Worker to be seen since this episode began a month ago showed up at my aunt's house. I arrived there just in time.

My opinion of Social Workers has not always been high but this chap, Jude, was good. Maybe it’s because he agreed absolutely with my criticisms of Newham Hospital and he lives in Abbey Wood.

He could barely believe what he was reading in the hospital notes; as far as I could tell their complete failure to follow through their own promises is on the record and a damning indictment of the competence of Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) et al.

But apparently Social Services and the NHS don’t speak to each other in Newham and whilst my aunt should have been sent for re-enablement (NHS I believe) the NHS is unembarrassed by their failure to make any preparations for discharge. Not just the obvious like no physiotherapists but they even forgot the medication pack. Nevertheless they remain intransigent and refuse any retrospective action. The best the man from Abbey Wood could offer was a respite home which could be anywhere but he recognised that speed was of the essence. Later today maybe.

With my sister now at home she can get on with arranging a longer term care home.

As ill luck would have it my aunt still has the constipation she had when discharged - one more reason she was not fit to be sent out - and there are signs that a powerful laxative (Laxido) which was in the hospital medical pack when it eventually arrived is beginning to have some effect. Up and down to the loo all night. I have not had to clean that sort of mess since my son was in nappies 47 years ago.

If the Social Worker does not get my aunt a place somewhere today it is definitely a taxi to A&E.

Me a dumper of old ladies? But what else is left to do? The Social Worker said that all the things my sister and I have done and have still to do should have been done for us or helped with before discharge. The NHS is simply not fit for purpose.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


7 May - It’s the day of reckoning

I am going to East Ham and I may be away for some time. It’s a good job all is quiet on the Bexley front.

This morning my sister rang Newham Social Services to plead for help so that she could get home to Hampshire to arrange a care home there for my frail and demented aunt and to seek attention for her own medical problem.

Newham Social Services told her that they will not provide any help because on previous occasions the family has funded private care. That was because Newham’s services proved to be totally inadequate and uncaring. That pot of money is near exhausted.

When my sister asked to be put through to someone more senior, Newham Social Services put the phone down on her.

My sister is now going home necessitating my trip to Newham.

I am not sure whether to call an ambulance, the old lady is feeling dizzy and still constipated just as she was when kicked out of hospital, and simply walk away from the situation or somehow deliver her to A&E and do the same thing.

This is a total failure of Barts Health NHS Trust and Newham Council.

If anyone can think of any better ideas I would be pleased to hear them.

Ward SisterP.S. Occupational Health has phoned to say they will do a house assessment next Thursday, twelve days after discharge and two weeks after the intended discharge date. The assessment should have been done before hospital discharge to ensure it was safe. By Thursday it will be too late, no one will be at home to arrange admission.

Who was it who assured me that all the professionals had passed everything as OK? Who signed the discharge papers? Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318).

P.S. Again. Just been told my aunt has not got dementia. Yesterday she was asking for her mother and when I walked in she was so glad to see her father. He died in 1933. Just call me Alfred!


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


6 May (Part 2) - The grinning incompetents from Newham Hospital

Things are coming to a head. My sister is in her seventies and like most septuagenarians is not totally free of medical ailments. She has just realised that she will run out of vital medication tomorrow and must therefore return to Hampshire.

I had suggested she did so by Sunday but she felt she ought to wait until the holiday is over; now it is crunch time.

It is what you get when the top priority for a team of uncaring medical incompetents is to shunt vulnerable old people out of hospital before they are fit and then compounding their misjudgment by not bothering to ensure a care package of some sort is in place.
Gill Parry Blessy Binue
Gill ParryMeanwhile these self satisfied individuals are engaged in a frenzy of back slapping to convince themselves they are doing a good job. I am pretty sure the lady on the left below is the one who gave me two working hours to put extra care in place but didn’t think that medication might be required or the District Nurse and various therapists should be informed.

I suspect I am wrong to assume that this is a one off mistake because if it was they might be trying to make amends for their error. Instead they swan off on holiday with both telephone (*) and email in-boxes conveniently full.

One must assume that the zero care dished out to my aunt is the norm to which they aspire.

Alice Louis Julie Clare Carter Jones Nick Holding

* My sister tried to call Newham Social Services (not the NHS) on Friday afternoon but an announcement said their mail box was full.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


6 May (Part 1) - The cretins who run Newham take a break

PrattAfter both the hospital and Social Services told my sister that no re-enablement package or indeed anything else had been put in place to help my aunt’s recovery because she was already privately paying for help they all waltzed off on holiday leaving my sister in despair of what to do next.

No medication supplied, no District Nurse to administer it. No physiotherapy, no occupational therapy. If that is not negligent what is?

The reason the care has been privately funded is because Newham’s Social Services are so appallingly bad.

There is now a dreadful Catch 22. If we are to find a care home for my aunt and it is away from Newham where the word care appears to be a dirty one it will have to be back in Hampshire where my sister lives. But how can she set about selecting a suitable home when she has to be in London on 24/7 duty?

I think I should take over the role as she is going to drop from exhaustion soon and has a foreign holiday booked for a week’s time but the only thing we seem to agree on now is that her phone call to Tayberry ward agreeing a two day delay to the discharge was a very big mistake. We should have just walked away and if anyone from Newham is reading this please take that lesson on board. Get a written assurance from the appalling Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) that all the support services have been put in place before allowing any old person to be discharged from Tayberry or Thistle wards.

A physiotherapist turned up unexpectedly on Saturday morning and spent best part of an hour with my aunt but the main message seemed to be that no one in Newham cares about anything but their budget and the chances of them doing anything useful is close to zero.

Meanwhile all I have been able to do is read the websites of various medical negligence lawyers.

Thanks to the many readers who have offered advice and those who have retweeted messages to tens of thousands of their followers. It is essential that the management and senior medical staff of Newham Hospital are shamed mercilessly.

P.S. The complaints email for Newham Hospital (palsandcomplaints@) printed on their leaflet is another dud. Three days after I used it, their server - not mine - returned my message appended with “delivery temporarily suspended”. I suppose they have gone on holiday too. Newham Hospital can do absolutely nothing right.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


5 May - Trouble at the Abbey?

As I drove past the Lesnes Abbey recreation ground this morning at about 11:40 there were two police cars and a fire engine outside with about four police officers and maybe even more fire people standing on the footpath. By the time I parked the car and grabbed a camera the fire engine had moved off and the police officers were taking a walk around the park.

I did the same and once again saw no sign of fire. There is an amazing amount of play equipment there which is clearly a very popular attraction.
Lesnes Abbey


3 May (Part 3) - Round in circles in Newham

Another day of little progress in Newham.

I was asked to make a formal complaint which could only repeat what has been written here. I have been told that it will be sent to the Complaints Service. I was naively hoping for some urgent action.

A physiotherapist said that only a GP could make a referral to the rehabilitation ward, the doctor appears not to agree.

A later phone call said that the rehab. ward sister didn't want my aunt in her ward anyway, said Social Services should be looking after her.

A call to Social Services said they were not offering any help because my aunt pays for her own care - but only four visits a day which is already costing more than her total income after Council Tax and heating costs.

Her savings would be all gone in a fortnight if there was a requirement to pay for 24/7 care but Social Services said they were not prepared to help and gave an NHS number to ring.

No help available there either and there was a circular reference back to the first number at Social Services.

It’s the Bank Holiday weekend so it is unlikely that there will be any urgent action. I’ve been trying to persuade my sister that she cannot spend the rest of her life as an unpaid carer but she is reluctant to do anything dramatic as I would.

If the NHS is unwilling to provide the rehabilitation promised less than three weeks ago the only solution will be a care home where she can sit all day largely uncared for. We have seen that coming for a long time but it cannot be arranged in a weekend when precipitated by a broken leg. There is no cash to pay for it

Maybe it will all be academic anyway. My aunt who used to be a perpetual grazer on cake and sweets and her favourite marmalade sandwiches is eating very little, getting weaker by the day and says she wants to die.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


3 May (Part 2) - Lesnes Abbey Good Coffee to close

Lesnes coffeeThere has been a considerable brouhaha in Abbey Wood and several news sites about Bexley Council’s decision to call time on the popular Lesnes Abbey coffee shop and refreshment kiosk. Rumour has it that Bexley Council had realised that it was running at a profit and thought they might take it for themselves.

Money grabbing is what Councils do of course but a Conservative one ’nationalising’ local businesses seemed to be a little far fetched.

But one can never be sure; I don’t remember the details but they had a hand in a similar facility that used to operate from the riverside gardens in Crayford and they spoke as if they had designs on the Belvedere Splashpark cafe too.

They have form in Lesnes Abbey park too. The Yoga club left the Visitor Centre for reasons that never became clear to me. (Click for subsequent explanation). They don’t like riding stables either however popular they might be.

Not unnaturally people assume the worst of Bexley Council and their reputation is well deserved, but are they on firmer ground this time around?

They claim that the coffee shop owner has not followed every last detail of her contract. Nobody but the owner knows if that is true.

More comment.
From the Murky Depths.
Survey Monkey petition.
Abbey Wood on Facebook.
Bexley Council Facebook.


3 May (Part 1) - The state of the NHS in Newham

There are several minor Bexley items that should be reported but battling with Newham’s Health services is taking up most of my time.

It would appear that the only way of attracting anyone’s attention is via these blogs and Twitter, the health authorities read them but as far as I can see do nothing.

Yesterday was not a good day. The District Nurse, it’s been a different one each day, said she could not apply dressings because she didn’t have any and if we wanted the bed blisters to be attended to we must buy the dressings ourselves.

The physiotherapist had recommended an urgent referral to the rehab unit - Fothergill ward would you believe - so we chased him up by phone. Someone said it was on the notes that my aunt should be taken to the gym!

The night was disturbed by my aunt moaning in pain and if I had been there instead of my sister I would have called an ambulance.

A more insistent phone call to the physio’s office this morning persuaded him to call back. He said only the GP can make a referral to Fothergill ward. The GP has been supportive from the outset and that is not what he has been saying.

By Sunday my sister will have given nine days of 24/7 care and, like me, is no spring chicken, she cannot do it any more. She will have to go home on Sunday.

When I take over full time I shall hire a taxi and drop my aunt into A&E. “All the professionals say she is fit to go home [with carers dropping in daily]”. And that was more than a week ago. What sort of professionals are they? And what was  Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) thinking of when she signed the discharge papers with no support services whatsoever set up in advance?

Earlier today a message from someone claiming to be a contractor to the NHS said that the NHS is awash with cash but it is too partial to massive bribes, e.g. a £40,000 scanner that comes with free holidays is chosen over another at half the price. It would not surprise me one bit if it is true.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


2 May - The state of the National Health Service today

It’s a day to drop everything and rush over to East Ham again. I must come to an arrangement with the care company to see if they can increase cover further, my sister cannot be expected to be on 24/7 care watch for ever. I suspect that we cannot go on much longer without engaging a full time care home despite my aunt’s insistence that she wants to be in the home where she has been since being bombed in Victoria Dock Road in 1941.

There has been some progress towards mitigating Newham Hospital’s total failure to prepare for the discharge of a frail old lady just a month short of her 99th birthday. The District Nurse who declared the incident a failed discharge has been visiting since last Monday and dealt with the bedsores. Not so good is that some of the supplied syringes will be past their expiry date before they are due to be used.

Yesterday a Physiotherapist came for the first time and said that my aunt should not be at home on weekly physiotherapy but in a rehab. centre for daily attention. He said he would make an urgent application but had no idea if space would be available.

Also yesterday a commode was delivered (a day later than promised) but there has been no contact with Social Services. I regard that as a good thing. They were no help back in 2015 after my aunt had been in hospital and rehab. for nine weeks.

The General Practitioner also declared Newham Hospital’s discharge to be “failed” and he is so concerned by the last week’s events that he is going to raise it with the Clinical Commissioning Group.

Everyone the District Nurse and I have persuaded to take an interest in the situation have been very nice people who have done their best to mitigate Newham Hospital’s failure to make any arrangements at all.

The ward Sister - the one in dark blue - assured me that all the professionals in her hospital had passed my aunt, who was constipated and catheterised until discharge and required lifting from bed to chair, fit for return home. Is Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) who signs off geriatric discharges still in employment?

My big mistake was allowing my sister to reach a compromise date for discharge with the ward staff. They wanted her discharge to be eleven days after the leg break was repaired and 13 days was agreed. We should have just walked away.


Related blogs
25 April 2019. • 27 April 2019. • 29 April 2019. • 2 May 2019. • 3 May 2019 1st part. • 3 May 2019 2nd part. • 6 May 2019 1st part. • 6 May 2019 2nd part. • 7 May 2019. • 8 May 2019. • 9 May 2019. • 10 May 2019. • 11 May 2019. • 18 May 2019.
The Omnibus Edition.


1 May (Part 2) - Abbey Wood closed for business. Please go away

Wilton RoadNext week Bexley Council will close most, and at some times all, of Gayton, Wilton and Florence Roads in Abbey Wood. The anticipated chaos is so severe that they plan to station a Traffic Marshall there to prevent total gridlock.

Full details here.

At the same time, in conjunction with Greenwich Council, access to Eynsham Drive from Harrow Manorway will be severely restricted.


1 May (Part 1) - The police. Are they corrupt or simply incompetent beyond belief?

After I got hold of the statement that Maxine Fothergill had signed in December 2017 and analysed it sufficiently to realise that most of it was untrue, and easily proved so, I wrote to Kent Police with examples of her duplicity on 26th March 2018.

A response came on 17th April which said my allegation of crime had been forwarded to the Investigation Management Unit and I waited for their decision - and I waited!

By December I thought I had waited long enough and sent a reminder. The response when it eventually came was that I could be told nothing because I was not the victim of the alleged crime. How ridiculous is that?

I emailed the following rebuttal of that ludicrous suggestion on 14th January 2019.

1) It is my name that occurs 22 times in the largely untruthful statement Ms. Fothergill made at Swanley Police station on 29th December 2017.

2) It was me who Sergeant 11901 Robbie Cooke decided to charge after failing to check whether Ms. Fothergill’s opening remarks were untruthful, something he could have found to be the case with a few clicks on Bexley Council’s website. He also failed to notice obvious contradictions in the statement made against me.

3) It was me who was compelled to attend Swanley Police Station under threat of arrest for non-compliance for interview under caution on 18th December 2017.

4) It was to my house that PC 13546 Abbie Brookes made a personal visit to tell me of her Sergeant’s decision to charge me with harassment for reporting with meticulous accuracy how Bexley Council and the High Court had dealt with Ms. Fothergill’s activities.

5) It was my name that appeared on the Charge notice dated 30th January 2018 and delivered to my address.

6) It was me who had to put down a deposit of £3,600 with a firm of solicitors to prepare my defence.

7) It was my barrister to whom the Crown Prosecution Service sent advice on 5th March 2018 that they would not pursue the case against me.

8) It was me who was awarded £323.45 by Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court to offset my legal costs.

9) It was to me that a Kent Police Inspector sent an email advising that lessons must be learnt and that PC Abbie Brooks and her Sergeant Robbie Cooke should be given feed back as part of their development.

10) It was to me that your Professional Standards Department wrote on 29th July 2018 to contradict the Inspector’s view and claim that neither Brooks nor Cooke had done anything wrong.

11) It was me who was featured in Private Eye Issue No. 1466 which highlighted Fothergill’s “bullying” and the unwarranted charges brought by Kent Police.

Please let me know exactly who was the victim of Ms. Fothergill’s malicious statement if it was not me.

It was ignored totally. Exactly a month later I sent the email again with the same result.

Are you with me so far? I made an allegation of crime because I had become a victim of a demonstrably false signed written statement. I was promised an investigation but ten months later Kent Police told me that I was not the victim of any crime and were therefore not going to give me any information.

When given the evidence that I was the victim of the crime Kent Police decide to ignore me completely.

Adrian HarperI asked the Independent Office for Police Conduct for advice and they said I could make an allegation of Misconduct by Kent Police to the elected Crime Commissioner and one time Bexley Councillor Matthew Scott. You may have thought that Kent Police’s comprehension skills were lacking but they are not nearly as poor as the Crime Commissioner’s Chief Executive Adrian Harper. How do such people manage to get themselves into such powerful positions with a salary of £96,483 a year?

He said that there is no evidence that a Police Force that arrested three people and charged another on the say so of someone who has admitted to losing a very large sum of money is in any way untoward and that to ignore four or more serious allegations of crime by that same person is also perfectly ordinary. Ditto that to tell me that I am not the victim of crime in a case where lies led to me being summoned to Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court is in no way dishonest and no Police Officer is guilty of anything when he tells me that it must be someone else who was the victim.

Mr. Harper says that I know I am not the victim and I am therefore abusing the complaints process. The man has not bothered to look into any aspect of the case has he?

He also says that I am “circumventing the complaints process in an attempt to have Ms. Fothergill charged with a criminal offence”.

Mr. Harper knows nothing at all. I enquired about the year old allegation against Maxine Fothergill but never expected to get a positive outcome. I am absolutely sure that one can never get justice from the police, seven years negotiating with the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards taught me that. There is honesty there at the lower ranks but none that I saw higher up.

I couldn’t care less about seeing Maxine Fothergill in the dock, she trashed her reputation in the High Court in November 2017 and after the passage of time I have no interest in seeing it done again.

Harper completely fails to realise that the name of the game is proving beyond reasonable doubt that Kent Police and the people such as himself are incompetent to the extent it makes them look corrupt. Mr. Harper is making a magnificent job of proving that case.

Harper goes badly wrong when he says I “had a formal letter sent” from my MP Teresa Pearce in furtherance of my supposed vendetta against Maxine Fothergill. I have done no such thing. I did not ask for Ms. Pearce’s help when charged for something I had not done. I have not communicated with her in any way whatsoever about pursuing Maxine Fothergill for the crime alleged against her, and whilst I have from time to time wondered if I should seek her assistance in getting Kent Police to acknowledge that I was the victim of Ms. Fothergill's false statement, I have not in fact done so.

Mr. Harper is either making things up to suit himself or it is yet more evidence that he has made no effort to understand what has been going on. I know that Teresa Pearce wrote to The Police and Crime Commissioner on or about 21st February 2018 but I do not know what she said, I am only ware of the correspondence because she asked me if I knew of a certain email address and because she sent me the reply when it showed up a month later. I think it is fair to say that Adrian Harper gave her the brush off and she showed no sign of being impressed by him. By then the baseless charges against me had been dropped.

Harper then repeats himself in his two page letter by saying once again that I am abusing the complaints process. The man simply fails to understand that the complaint is very simple. I was charged with harassment because of a statement that was clearly false in several respects and Kent Police say that I was not its victim. Who was then? Mr. Harper and the Chief Constable persist in telling me that I was not the victim and that because of that they are refusing to respond to my enquiries.

The man is simply too stupid to recognise that that is the complaint but he then repeats his assertion that I am trying to put Maxine Fothergill behind bars. and for the third time that I am abusing the complaints process.

Maybe it is time to ask Teresa Pearce if she can get a rational explanation of how Kent Police and the clueless Adrian Harper believe that someone else was Maxine Fothergill’s intended victim?

Note: The automated processes on Bonkers demand that there is a blog on the 1st of the month. To satisfy that requirement this month old blog has been placed here.


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