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Bonkers Blog October 2019

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4 October - Good news? Mainly yes - I think

Bexley Council has been busy on the Press Release front. Nothing sensational but perhaps like me they are finding it difficult to find things worth talking about.

Yesterday their favoured subject was their success in stopping the conversion of industrial premises in Erith to housing without any permission. Why do some people think they can get away with such things? Maybe it is because a man called Singh is allowed to. When they do act against him he takes little or no notice.

Tree Preservation
Tree Today’s Press Release is also about doing things without permission. A protected sycamore tree was felled in Sidcup.

Naughty I know but personally I think that anyone without an enormous garden is very silly to allow a tree to grow in it. Sooner or later it will cost an equally enormous sum to keep it in check.

I know someone in Bromley who has a gigantic oak growing only a couple of feet beyond her rear boundary in an access road that serves a line of houses. The tree is therefore jointly owned but it is behind her garden and it is her light that is curtailed and it is her greenhouse that is smashed when there is a gale.

It is a nice enough tree if only it was somewhere else and every few years she has to spend more than a few hundred pounds keeping it in check.

I once cut down a tree in my garden because it grew through my bathroom window (I kid you not) and the local Council went berserk about it even though they admitted they had failed to tell me about a Tree Preservation Order. Fortunately I had already sought the advice of the County Arborilogical Officer who inspected the tree and certified that it had been diseased for years and was dying long before the TPO was imposed which made it invalid. He told the District Council but it still took a lot of arguments to shut them up.

Trade is down
Ever since Abbey Wood’s Crossrail station opened in October 2017 and especially since the flyover footpaths were opened, the nearby shops have suffered a loss of trade. Far from “sitting on goldmines” as Bexley Council told the Traders’ Association, business has not picked up at all from the low points during the construction work. They have been featured on TV twice about it and on radio.

Most station traffic used to go via Wilton Road and now there is a variety of alternative routes. An appeal to Transport for London for a ‘To the shops’ sign on the station concourse was declined but Bexley Council was sympathetic after a Belvedere Councillor made representations following her attendance at the Traders’ January 2019 meeting.

The following month she returned to say that Bexley Council had £10,000 left in the pot and was willing to look into the lack of signage.

Council wheels move slowly but the signs have just appeared. Not a lot of use I would have thought but maybe I too often look on the black side.

Sign Sign SignThe first of the three Photos show the location of a sign at the north eastern end of the flyover. It is on a lamp post on the flyover beyond the Sainsbury’s pedestrian crossing where very few people need to go.

I spotted the sign outside the station while walking towards it on the eastern footpath but when I crossed the road to take a photograph I couldn’t find the damned thing.

After wandering around like a lost soul for longer than I would like to admit I discovered why I couldn’t see the sign. It is because I am not twelve feet tall.

The signs are tiny, not even 18 inches long I would think.

How come a couple of small signs can cost ten thousand pounds? Maybe they didn’t but that was the implication. Surveyors, draughtsmen, Conway’s hole diggers, a metal pole, sign manufacture. Yes one can see how Bexley residents are taxed to the hilt.

At least Councillor Hinkley did her best to assist the traders, her opposite numbers in Greenwich have perhaps wisely kept well clear of Traders’ meeting.

Attacking motorists. By some measures Bexley is a failure
Every year Bexley Council publishes its Parking Report and every year the number of PCNs issued is the lowest in London. That was always “blamed” on Bexley being one of the few London Boroughs which did not monitor Moving Traffic Offences. That changed two years ago when it began its blitz on yellow box junctions and in several cases I know of showed that it had no idea of what the law had to say on the subject.

Maybe they have learned; more likely Bexley’s drivers have learned. The number of Moving Traffic PCNs issued in Bexley has fallen by 10%.

Click image for Source.


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