It seems longer than two and a bit months ago that Labour Leader Daniel Francis revealed how Bexley had been
severely criticised by the Local Government Ombudsman
for breaking the rules on the provision of SEN transport.
Bexley Council doesn’t take kindly to criticism as I learned many years ago when it reported me to the police for the crime of “criticising Councillors”. This time they stopped short of that. Bexley Council went to war with Councillor Francis on Twitter instead.
The Conservative Twitter account did what it was set up for. It lied big time. Councillor Francis was accused of “peddling made up stories” and it demanded an apology for his “false claim that the Cabinet Member for Education had misled the Council”.
I listened carefully several times to the recording of what Councillor Francis had said but failed to find serious fault with it.
He was critical of the Cabinet Member for Education for not making any reference to the LGO verdicts when
reporting formally on the situation only a few days earlier
but if that was unfair it could only be because the Cabinet Member had been kept in ignorance of it.
I’m not sure that makes the omission completely justifiable but the Tories continued to demand an apology.
For reasons best known to himself Councillor Francis apparently gave one, presumably confident that the truth would eventually come out.
It just has.
The LGO report issued yesterday makes it absolutely clear that Bexley Council was wholly at fault when dealing with several cases just as Councillor Francis had tried to tell us.
It has been made to pay parents financial compensation of £250 each plus £10 a day for every day each one of them was adversely affected by Bexley Council’s incompetence, assuming that that is all it was.
It has also confirmed what many of us knew already. Bexley Council is not “transparent”.