today rss twitter

Bonkers Blog September 2019

Index: 200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020

30 September - Sneaking one in

Bronte Close Bronte Close Bronte Close

Is BexleyCo launching another assault on Wilde Road? It looks like it.

A Planning Application has been made for Bronte Close. (19/02229/FUL.) Couldn't be honest and say Wilde Roa again could they?
Planning application


29 September - The Engine restarted

Bexley Council has come a long way since its Deputy Leader sacked a whistleblower at the Thames Innovations Centre who complained that it was employing a (later convicted) paedophile as manager and was shovelling in taxpayers’ cash to keep it afloat. Ten years later it is called The Engine House and may at last be an asset to the borough. The annual £186,000 grant ceased in 2016.

Unfortunately the Council will have to loan it £235,000 to partially cover current refurbishment costs. It came up for discussion at the recent Resources and Growth Scrutiny meeting.

The Chairman started the discussion by thanking the management team for all the hard work that had gone into its transformation.

Councillor Steven Hall (Conservative, East Wickham) admitted he had never visited it but was nevertheless impressed by the creativity on display there. He wanted to know how “such a great resource” was being advertised. He was told that the main thrust of advertising was via Social Media, its website and networking with similar facilities elsewhere.

Councillor Val Clark (Falconwood & Welling) asked to be permitted to make a statement and as she is a Conservative Councillor this was allowed. It transpired that her statement was a criticism of the previous management team who she said “fiddled and did nothing”. She said they were eventually asked to resign since when things have been much better. “Bad practices” were mentioned. Not paedophilia but the general thrust of Councillor Clarke’s comment was undoubtedly correct. A shame that a now gone Deputy Leader was happy to go along with it. Bexley Council is definitely not as Bonkers since certain people were shown the door.

Councillor Clark was not entirely happy that Bexley Council has not written off the debts from the early days and said that the Director of Finance had failed to respond to her request for a meeting made very nearly two months ago.

Councillor June Slaughter (Conservative, Sidcup) asked where the comparable facilities were locally and was told there were “not many”.

Councillor John Davey (Conservative, West Heath) referred to how the failure to deliver Crossrail was adversely affecting nearby businesses and asked if The Engine House was being affected too.

Director Jane Richardson said that the current year was planned to be a quiet one during the refurbishment and some businesses had been lost but most replaced. It was difficult to say if the Crossrail delay has been a factor but with the refurbishment work in progress she would not have wanted the building to be full anyway. Crossrail will be an asset when it comes.

It was agreed that all Committee members should visit the facility early next year when refurbishment would be completed.
The Engine House

The Engine House.


28 September (Part 3) - Post Office counters are hard to find

Bexley Council has been concerned about the lack of Post Office facilities in the borough for several months, ever since the borough’s Conservative areas were affected and not just the places which don’t matter much.

When what had been my nearest Post Office for 30 odd years closed last January the explanatory leaflet told me that the nearest Crown Office would be a 35 minute train ride away in Borough High Street. While I was posting a letter yesterday afternoon a lady asked me where the nearest Post Office was and I simply didn’t know.

When I first worked for the General Post Office in 1962 there were nearly 23,000 Post Offices in the country, now there are only half as many. Bexley Council is right to be concerned and the subject was debated by a Bexley Council Scrutiny Committee last Thursday evening.

Unfortunately the invited speaker from the Post Office failed to turn up. The Scrutiny Committee was left with only a written statement to go on.
Councillor June Slaughter (Conservative, Sidcup) said she was “delighted to hear that the Post Office is committed to restoring the service [in Sidcup]” but they were “very late in letting people know what the situation was”. They must have had advance notice of the impending closure but chose to tell no one. The Chairman added that Slade Green, Belvedere and Bexley Village suffered the same problem.

Councillor Linda Bailey (Conservative, Crook Log) who presumably does not know that the Royal Mail and the Post Office are quite separate organisations, one privately owned, the other not, asked why her postman now drives a van painted green. “Up to now we have always had red ones. Is it the policy to change their colours? It is a very strange thing to see a green Post Office van.” Eventually she talked herself round to wondering if it might be electric.

Sometimes one despairs of former Cabinet Members for Business Regeneration and Growth. Sensibly no other Councillor commented on Royal Mail vans either green or red and went back to discussing the Post Office.

Daniel Francis was the only Councillor to remember that the borough’s biggest Post Office was five metres across the boundary into Greenwich and the Post Office offered no advice at all to himself or ward colleagues when it closed. He said the Council needs to tell the Post Office that the Abbey Wood Post Office is important to Bexley residents and must include that branch in any reports to the Council.

He said that the Post Office has “struggled to find anyone willing to take on the Post Office business in Abbey Wood” adding that there are two sets of flats with ground floor retail space planned for the Post Office site and across the road from it in Abbey Road “so there are options for a new Post Office site”.

Note: Peabody reported at a public meeting that the Post Office turned down their offer of accommodation on the Harrow Inn site because it would not be available soon enough.

The Chairman said that Councillor Francis should voice his concerns with the Post Office now and not wait for them to show up at a future Scrutiny meeting. Councillor Francis said he’d already had three telephone conference calls with them and exchanged several emails and the Post Office simply doesn’t respond. “I cannot get any answer out of them.”

The Chairman said he would be happy to ask Councillor Francis’ questions for him.

Note: My postman says that the Dartford sorting office has a small but increasing number of Peugot electric vans and not enough charging points.


28 September (Part 2) - 100% Green

Strange noises were coming from Lesnes Abbey so I wandered up there to take a look. There was some sort of Eco Fest going on, sponsored by Bexley Council if the notices and the presence of the Mayor were any guide.

Strange how you can live 200 yards away and read the local Facebrook Groups and not have a clue about some of the upcoming events.

I have no idea what it was all about, something to do with Eco living I thought but what one could see from the outside did not wholly support that theory.

I say outside because it appeared to be a closed event. Every gate bar one to the public gardens was tied shut with lengths of string and the only gate open said Ticket Entrance and was manned by a burly bouncer.

I took the ‘Welcome’ at face value and stayed outside so exactly what Bexley Council was spending our money on remains a mystery.
Eco Fest Eco Fest Eco Fest Eco Fest
I’m not sure what I would learn from an Eco Fest anyway. Last Thursday evening I dragged my green bin to the footpath and quickly looked inside. It was empty. I had gone the whole two weeks without producing any non-recyclable waste at all. Does that entitle me to an award from Cabinet Member Craske?

When I checked indoors I found a few pieces of cellophane wrapper in the kitchen waste basket but not enough to justify the waste of a black sack.

I left the bin where it was. By morning it was half filled with a neighbour’s rubbish.
Eco Fest
Further enquiries revealed that admission to the almost unadvertised Lesnes Abbey Eco Fest was by ticket only through Eventbrite. How ridiculous is that?


28 September (Part 1) - Local Brexit issues. Is Bexley ready? The Council says yes

I thought Thursday’s Resources and Growth Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting was one I should attend but a flooded cellar in East Ham thought otherwise so this report, and those that follow, is a summary of what may be seen and heard on the webcast if you have two and a quarter hours to spare.
Scrutiny Committee
The meeting was ably Chaired by Councillor Dourmoush (Conservative, Longlands) in the absence of Cabinet Member Louie French (Falconwood & Welling) who had been called to an urgent meeting in Eltham. Congratulations are now due to him after his selection as the Conservative’s Parliamentary Candidate for the Eltham constituency.

The first Agenda item was emergency planning for - sorry about this - Brexit.

Councillor Howard Jackson (Conservative, Barnehurst) referred to “minor concerns” on waste services because some recyclables were currently exported to Holland. It is about 4% and suitable plans have been made and it not seen as a big problem.

Councillor Joe Ferreira (Labour, Erith) asked if Government had issued sufficient guidance on Brexit. He also thought that Brexit might have “a really significant impact” on Adults Social Services.

A Council Officer (Mr. O’Brien) reported that Government “has given us everything they can give us” and he expected an update on “Operation Yellowhammer” soon.

Plans have been made should there be any local shortage of food or fuel. Conway, Serco, Thames Water and the School Meals Services are all prepared and plans are updated almost daily. Parking areas for lorries at Manston Airport and on the M26 and “a hundred” places elsewhere will be able to cope if there is a delay at the ports.

Local road works will be reduced to a minimum to ensure as far as possible that traffic flows freely.

Councillor Daniel Francis said the Food Banks are “on their knees” and Councillor Linda Bailey chose to engage in a barely audible argument about his statement. The Chairman asked Councillor Francis to stick to the Agenda and both to show respect to each other. His question was about school transport, in particular for teachers who commute into Bexley from Kent. He was also concerned about the availability of medicine and said the epilepsy treatments imported from France had been difficult to obtain earlier this year and believed it was still the case in some areas.

The Council Officer said that the schools were supposed to have made their own plans but if they had not as Councillor Francis suggested he would have to offer them some guidance. More medicine guidance was due from Government the next day (midnight 26th September) but already various plan improvements were in place and there would be no delays at British ports. European ports remained a bit of unknown because they were subject to European politics. There is already a large “buffer stock”.

Councillor John Davey (Conservative, West Heath) confirmed Councillor Francis’ report on medicine shortages “and other things too” and believed “some of it was the result of panic buying, in fact it was all panic buying. We need to avoid panic buying. Is there any evidence of panic buying?” he asked.

None had been seen locally and fuel in particular should not be a problem as it does not come in via ports that might be affected by Brexit. Nationally “we have enough stock” the Council’s expert replied.

Councillor Steven Hall (Conservative, East Wickham) asked if Council employees who are EU citizens had been identified and offered assistance and are they leaving in greater numbers than usual.

The HR Manager (Mr. Hollier) said there had not been a big response to his enquiries and all the indications were that staff were not very concerned but he will continue to offer every support. The turnover figures have not noticeably changed.

Cabinet Member David Leaf provided a list of reassurances about the borough’s and indeed national Brexit Planning in his usual long winded way. Everything is in hand; David says so.


27 September (Part 2) - One rule for them…

Beware quoted bad language.

Until 2016 BiB stuck to its Bexley Council only agenda but as the EU Referendum approached it jumped off the fence. It was too big an event to ignore and things have never been the same since then.

Unexpected by the Great and the Good, but not to those with an ear to the ground, the Leave side won. That fact exposed a lot of sore losers.

In the days and weeks following the result I collected the insults thrown in my direction until I became bored by them. Here’s a selection of the tolerance on display in the Summer of 2016.

Nazi. Fascist. Sieg Heil! Traitor. Lemmings killing each other. Zealots. Will cause a World War. Evil fucker. Dad’s Army still fighting WWII. Sick with anger at you Brexiteers. Irresponsible. Deeply resented. Fascist moron. Idiot creeping out of the sewer. Bigot. Dimwit. I prefer Angela Merkel. Farage is poisonous and dangerous. Brexshit. Rednecked loon. It will bring back rickets. Batshit fascist. Noisy bunch of fascists. Theresa May is Hitler. Oh do fuck the fuck off. The Anglosphere is right up to its neck in shit. If you read the Sun or Mail you’ve chosen to eat shit and deserve what you get. I hope everyone who voted Tory and Brexit is ashamed of the result of what they’ve done. Remember, YOU voted for them and this shameful, shitty mess we’re in. You live on a nasty little island.

BookWater off a duck’s back. No one threatened to kill me, but it is a regular occurrence for MPs. It is appalling, horrendous and totally unforgiveable and the culprits ought to be in jail.

I still receive comment critical of my own Brexit position but I fail to understand how my views on the issue are the cause of all the hatred that Brexit has engendered. I fortunately do not see the nightmarish stuff aimed at MPs but I do see it from a handful of irrational MPs both in and out of Parliament. Despite that the Remainer’s propaganda machine appears to be winning the battle of words.

Most broadcasters, in fact pretty much every one of them apart from Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talkradio, is telling me that the use of the words Humbug and Turkey is a resigning matter when “Tony Blair can fuck off and Die” is not.

One of the leading figures in this war of words is MP Jess Phillips. I must make a confession. Not being a telly addict I thought she was a man until very recently. It’s not helped by Esq. on her Twitter name. But no, the talk is not as coarse as it is because Jess Phillips is an uncouth ill-educated man, it is because she is no better than a fishwife and proud of it.

Here is a selection of Tweets from a woman - the Internet keeps telling me she really is a woman - who along with others objects to “offensive, inflamatory and pejorative language”. You don’t have to read it all, any three Tweets will do to get the general idea. IQ around 45 do you reckon?

HatredHow can she keep a straight face when on the radio complaining that the Prime Minister is stoking up hatred by saying “Humbug”?

There is no more than circumstantial evidence but I personally suspect that Boris Johnson abused his position to get Councillor Peter Craske off the Misconduct rap in 2012. I wouldn’t trust him an inch but is he really worse than this fellow who aspires to be Chancellor of the Exchequer?

How does he get away with it and almost zero critical comment in the main stream media and Boris Johnson gets so many adverse headlines for what at worst were ill-chosen words when stitched into a difficult position by a hateful opposition?

Video extracted from Twitter but originally from Guido Fawkes


27 September (Part 1) - Bexley Council. Behind the curve

While Bexley retains its position as the least Electric Vehicle (EV) friendly borough in London and its Council dips a toe very gingerly into EV charging with 13 dual headed 7kW units eventually to be dotted about the borough in little used parking spots, other Councils are being far more positive.

Barnet Council has already installed 40 and is pushing on to reach its target of 110.

Across the river in Braintree the Council is right behind a completely new electric refuelling station with 24 much faster (50kW and probably more) charging units and a coffee shop.

Their local newspaper provides a detailed report complete with readers’ comments. Read them if only to be aware of the nonsense spouted on the subject by too many people.

Second hand electric vehicles cannot be sold - I am resisting the temptation to get more for mine than I paid a year ago - and the batteries which typically come with an eight to ten year warranty will be quickly “knackered”.

Click either of the images below to visit the appropriate website.

Barnet Braintree

Braintree is not the first but maybe it will be the best equipped. Milton Keynes has had one for more than a year and there are several in Scotland

Greenwich Council has installed a network of EV charging points but insists that you register with the Council via a web form and wait for acceptance before being able to use their facilities.

That is a fat lot of use if you run short of power on your journey home and is a huge disincentive to EV take up. At least Bexley Council has not been that silly.


26 September - Humbug

Deprived of the opportunity to attend Bexley’s Health Scrutiny meeting yesterday evening - I noticed at the 11th hour that they had decided to meet in Bromley and abandon webcasting - I listened instead to the disgraceful Parliamentary session.

I am not one of Boris Johnson’s greatest fans. Yes he can be amusing but I am pretty damned sure he is a question dodger, finds lying easy and pays scant regard to the judicial process, but there was no doubt in my mind that last night the real baddies were the opposition parties. They are such appalling hypocrites. Time and time again they have labelled Leavers Little Englanders and Fascists and David Lammy (Labour MP for Tottenham) has said that Leavers are worse than Nazis.

At least Boris Johnson doesn’t stoop to their level.

Labour MPs are such innocents aren’t they as these two MPs’ Tweets demonstrate.

Coyle Woodstock
Today I have heard a lot of comment from predominantly Labour MPs on the radio lying outrageously about what happened last night. The Commons Speaker did not rule against the use of the word Humbug and it was a female Labour MP who invoked the murder of Jo Cox MP, not Mr. Johnson. If you only listened to the radio today you might not know that.

Late this afternoon a friend told me how disgusting the Prime Minister was. He had been listening to the untruthful Lib Dem and Labour statements. He had not listened to the so called debate and I had to find some of the original audio clips to show how badly he had been misled. By the time our discussion ended I had converted a Remainer to realising the EU he wanted to see could only come from Leaving.

But its is not only Labour politicians who hurl abuse on Twitter. I have been informed that Bexley Councillor Philip Read is so ashamed of some of his own comments that he now only lets his closest friends see them. Fortunately Read and I have some mutual friends and here to commemorate his most recent anti-democratic decision is a little reminder of his frequent excesses.

In no particular order…

Twit Twit

There is only one blog in Bexley that indulges in political comment.

Twit Twit

It’s not difficult to guess who that would be. Presumably the one that told me that what I write is one third conspiracy theory and one third plain wrong.

Twit Twit

Twit Twit
For the record I was refused admittance to the Belvedere Beach opening day.

Twit Twit


And the despicable Read casually labels all and sundry racists without producing any evidence whatsoever.

Twit Twit

In fact Councillor Read does input to the @bexleynews account. Not only does he sometimes appear to debate with himself but more honest Conservatives have confirmed that the author is sometimes. maybe even frequently, Councillor Philip Read.

Twit Twit

Twit Twit


24 September (Part 2) - Bad air in Bexley

PollutionThis is a quite fun website, it monitors the air quality by Post Code. I found an area of Sidcup which was not on its database but elsewhere it came up with a number.

How accurate it is I have no idea; from the edge of Lesnes Abbey to the centre of Bexleyheath every single address I tried scored a middling Three.

Try your luck. Can anyone score a Five?


24 September (Part 1) - The Contact form is back

A few days ago the Contact Form was removed from Bonkers after one too many poison pen messages and I failed to successfully change the code to reject anonymous input.

It’s back but it’s different.

Contact formIt allows me to simply switch between blocking or accepting Anonymous Input. Currently it accepts Anonymous messages.

It allows the sender to Edit and/or Print the message and provides me with a more detailed summary of messages.

It also provides more rigorous protection against poison pen letters so I am almost looking forward to the next one.

Unfortunately it includes one of those annoying Captcha security checks. Maybe I should try switching it off and simply rely on the other security measures.

Comments welcome; via the Contact Form presumably.

In other news; I have learned how to stop selected emails reaching me at all. Those property offers from Liverpool and Hull will drop straight through the Oblivion Hole and I will never know. 😜


23 September (Part 2) - Insert top local contaminants here

Yesterday Sadiq Khan was promoting cycling. Today Bexley Council is promoting recycling again.

Yet another Press Release from their PR Department. At least I think it is from their PR Department, it includes the instruction [insert top local contaminants here] which suggests that they downloaded a government template from somewhere.

Nevertheless it carries an important message, about half the Green Bin waste could be recycled. Maybe it is all too difficult. My visitor this morning threw a plastic tray into my paper box. To be honest I have no idae if it can be recycled but I know it is not paper.


23 September (Part 1) - London Mayor declares knife car free day

The plan was to write this short bog yesterday evening but I didn’t get home in time and that was because I had a car free day.

Car Free DayAt the end of last week I was given a complimentary ticket for the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show, the intended recipient refused to go when he discovered that all the car parking spaces were already taken up. I was happy to go by train, nothing to do with the virtue signalling incompetent Mayor’s Car Free Day, I simply fancied being different.

The quickest route was Abbey Wood to Blackfriars, the Cambridge train to Royston and then a bus. Thanks to the Freedom Pass it was quite cheap, £10.20 return, but not as cheap as by car which would be around £3.20 for electricity at my standard 12 pence per kilowatt hour rate.

For reasons unknown the Blackfriars train didn’t run but the diversion via Cannon Street was easy. I took a route I had not been on since childhood and three hours and thirty five minutes after leaving home I alighted from the bus at Duxford.

I’ve been there before but by car. It takes about an hour and a half, call it two hours by the time you have parked.

The return journey took ten minutes longer than the outward. It was slightly confusing that the train display board said it would call at London Bridge while the platform indicators said it wouldn’t. It’s just as well that years of train travel have taught me to never trust any train related information. (At one time the outward train announced we had stopped at Brighton!)

So going by train cost me around four hours and I didn’t really care, but what if I was on a business trip? These eco-warriors want us to give up our cars. Have they any idea of the cost to the economy? The loons led yesterday by Sadiq Khan would have us all hunting hairy mammoths in loin cloths if they could.

Thank goodness that Bexley Council appears not have had anything to do with this lunacy.

A few years ago David Cameron’s government proposed an 80 m.p.h. speed limit on motorways. The unstated reason was because it would provide a big boost to the economy - I know who was involved in the research. That too was shouted down by ignorant campaigners. Buy your loin cloth now before there is a run on them.


21 September - If you are dying of thirst waiting for jobs to be completed, relief is in sight

Felixstowe Road, Abbey Wood
Completion of the rebuilding of Felixstowe Road next to Abbey Wood station is already overdue and there is a very long way to go yet.

Felixstowe Road Felixstowe Road Felixstowe RoadPresumably to make amends the contractors have opened the road to light traffic. Residents only the sign says but there are none on the closed section.

It’s a helpful gesture but traffic coming through from the eastern side of Harrow Manorway are today met by the road block which is FL68 AFK.

The only way back is to reverse 150 yards down a narrow track. One must hope that there is not a line of traffic all trying to do the same thing.

Greenwich Council does not much care about illegal perking.

More pictures.

Gayton Road, Abbey Wood
Gayton Road Gayton RoadAcross the railway line is another road which is well behind schedule. More than six months on the latest schedule, three times that on earlier estimates.

Gayton Road has yet to benefit from the promised station drop off points or the trees but if you find the Abbey Arms closed, relief is at hand. Thames Water’s latest hole in the ground has sprouted a drinking fountain.

I have resisted the temptation to Photoshop the words MAYOR OF LONDON into DRIP OF LONDON.

More pictures.


20 September - Mainly rubbish

BarnetNearly ten years ago Barnet Council outsourced pretty much all of their services to Capita and the local blogging fraternity has been complaining about it ever since. Around a year ago Barnet Council services collapsed in a stinking heap, literally in some places.

A week ago Bexley Council issued a Press Release to say they had entered an eight year contract with Capita, more limited than Barnet’s, which they claim will result in a saving of £1 million a year. One must hope it is more successful than their recently abandoned big contract with Amey.

Usually BiB keeps a copy of Bexley Council’s Press Releases but recently they have been so poorly produced that they do not lend themselves to easy conversion to PDF so that one has been given a miss.

Food bins
BinAnother Press Release was issued yesterday which was once again a bit of a techno-mess but perseverance paid off and a PDF version was eventually produced. It says you may order a better food recycling box.

The Press Release gives details of the delayed issue of new wheelie bins too.

The last Press Release I saw that was done properly was issued by Lynne McVicar two weeks ago. Another warning not to misuse Blue Badges.

Paul Moore
I found out a little bit more about Paul Moore who has so often stood in for an absent Chief Executive. He is definitely away for some reason or other. Not just ordinarily away it would appear because a replacement has been dragged in from another borough. It doesn’t sound like a holiday and one must hope his health is in good shape.

The replacement is another of those rent a pen-pusher types who have worked just about everywhere. In this case Wirral, Bristol, Plymouth, Havering and perhaps significantly Newham, the new Chief Executive’s old stomping ground. A local authority so efficient that it claims to need 20% more Councillors. Maybe they are trying to maintain the London average number of Council brain cells. They have recently been persuaded that a 10% increase may suffice.

I’d rather back a public servant who stays in one place and is loyal to those who pay his wages more than his own pay packet.

The loon is back
The lunatic who wrote the diatribe reproduced here two days ago came back overnight. This time she claims she has enough on me to put me in jail and “we have reported you”.

Her deranged mind says I work in IT for a Local Authority, if so I don’t think I would last long. I decided to amend the Contact page so that it demanded a verified email address but I made a total mess of it and now it doesn’t work at all. So much for my IT skills!

Temporarily it is disabled totally until I find a better way of doing things. For the desperate the Contact form used to send messages to enquiry at bexley-is-bonkers dot co dot uk.


19 September (Part 2) - In search of a scandal

I went to the Code of Conduct Committee meeting yesterday hoping that I might learn something slightly scandalous to liven up the blog but the closest I came to a scandal was bumping into Councillor Hackett outside the Civic Offices and being led through the tradesmen’s entrance around the back. If anyone finds out he may be in big trouble.

The Agenda had revealed that a Councillor had complained about another Councillor allegedly dishing out budgetary falsehoods to residents and the complaint didn’t even get past the first stage examination. Petty minded aren’t they?

A Member of the Public complained about a Councillor’s language on Twitter and that too got nowhere. The timing is such that the complaint may be the one reported here, and then there was the third one which had me intrigued.

The Labour Group, that is all of them not simply one with an over developed sense of outrage, was complaining about a Councillor’s alleged bad language on Social Media and a failure to declare an interest in something or other. I know very little of the latter but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the former is likely to be a reference to Danny Hackett’s Bollox, bollox, bollox remark after being goaded by several left wing nutters who object to Danny’s unfortunate intolerance of political bullshit. (Unlike Danny I am allowed to use that word. I am not a Councillor thank God.)

The meeting began with Chairman Linda Bailey being concerned about “the gentleman at the back videoing all over the place” so for her benefit I’ll let everyone know that although my five year old camera does have a button marked Video I have never ever used it, not even as an experiment and I am not going to experiment on her. I took three more photos than was intended but only because Councillor James Hunt kept dodging out of view.
Committee The meeting was mainly about a revision to the Code of Conduct but the changes were minor and not the sort of thing to which anyone could reasonably take exception.

There were a few slightly interesting questions and answers and then out of the blue the meeting came to life. Only very briefly but I believe it may well cause Danny Hackett’s current predicament to explode in a few faces. (Please excuse the assumption; I think it’s Danny in the firing line, his presence at last night’s meeting probably confirms it and his questions surely must do, but nobody ever comes clean and says so.)

Anyway, the meeting went like this…

Immediately after the preliminaries, Councillor June Slaughter (Conservative, Sidcup) asked when the third complaint (Danny’s?) was submitted. Mr. Hollier the Monitoring Officer said “it was submitted some time ago, March of this year and I hope to have it concluded within the next week or so”.

Councillor Slaughter also asked what constituted “a timely fashion” for investigations. Mr. Hollier said he aimed for within 28 days but that is not always possible.

Councillor Hackett sitting in the public area as a Councillor asked if the time taken on investigations was monitored and recorded and how often complaints were made by political groups. He didn’t get a straight answer there and then but was assured that all the data was readily available. My guess is that he thinks a Labour Group complaint is a rarity. The Monitoring Officer volunteered the fact that group complaints are “very few” and they’re “normally simple”.

Councillor Hackett also enquired about the costs incurred by the Council in investigating such Group complaints. I think I am beginning to understand where Danny is going with this.

As if to confirm it he asked for “Publicly Accessible Social Media” to be defined. Did it include extracts taken from Private Facebook accounts to which friends might have access? The Monitoring Officer believed that Private accounts were Public “if they were read by anyone”. This is presumably a warning never to say anything to anybody capable of talking, writing or making semaphore signals.

When the meeting went beyond the new Code of Conduct and got down to the actual procedure for handling complaints the incisive legally trained mind of Councillor Slaughter said the rule which said that complaints must be made within seven days of a breach of the rules might be acceptable to Councillors who knew the ropes but not to a Member of the Public who might take time to realise what courses of action were open to them.

The Monitoring Officer said that the seven days was “given leeway” when it affected Members of the Public but Councillor Slaughter was not happy with that. Neither were Councillors happy with the suggested “within a reasonable time”. Mr Hollier said he would go away and consult on it.

Councillor Hackett jumped in quickly after that, he admitted he was unaware of the seven days rule. His Bollox remarks were made a year and a bit ago and Mr. Hollier had said the complaint was not made until March this year. He asked the very obvious question very directly but Mr. Hollier said he would prefer “not to debate cases here”. Danny moved to “the hypothetical”. Mr. Hollier “did not want to have a hypothetical debate here”. He may not have wished to offer any opinion on Danny’s case but his facial expression was worth a thousand words.

“I think I have the answer I needed” was Councillor Hackett’s only response.

If the complaint is against him and he is not going to all this trouble on behalf of someone else, he is presumably now entitled to have the complaint against him thrown out on the seven day rule. Nine months is a lot longer than seven days.

I have no idea what the Monitoring Officer’s verdict on Danny will be especially in respect of the declaring of interests because I do not know sufficient details of it but I am beginning to think that I will have little option but to seriously embarrass people with whom I have enjoyed a reasonably friendly relationship. Then I will have none left in Council; well maybe Danny and James but no one else.

Note: Mr. Nick Hollier is sitting on the top table.


19 September (Part 1) - The Invisible Man - and woman

While wading through the backlog of ancient emails I came across two that were sort of related from nearly a month ago. Both anonymous and I would guess from different people, but who knows?

Paul MooreOne asks if I have seen Deputy Chief Executive Paul Moore recently and do I know what he is currently up to. It goes on to commiserate with him for once again not being picked for the Chief Executive role.

The other question was “Is the new Chief Executive Jackie Belton any good?” The flippant answer to both questions is “How the hell should I know, no one talks to me”. Almost no one that is; I have spoken to both Councillors James Hunt (Conservative) and Danny Hackett (Independent) in the past two weeks but only about aeroplanes and cars (his and mine) respectively.

I too commiserate with Paul Moore’s failure to win the top job. He has given the best years of his life to Bexley and all the time BiB has been in existence survived as Deputy to the Chief Executive so he must be competent at his job and he’s always been good enough to stand in for the Chief Executive when they suddenly disappear for whatever reason.

Somebody must have it in for him but where he is now I am not sure. I have heard he is on holiday, I have heard he is on sick leave and I have heard he has been replaced by a namesake.

Time will no doubt tell.

Is Jackie Belton any good? I don’t know. Nothing to judge her on, I have been to all the big Council meetings since she arrived and have come to the conclusion she is probably mute.


18 September (Part 4) - No trains again. Nine days of replacement buses but all in a good cause

Barnehurst StationWhile trying to work out if Engineering Works was set to ruin my train journey to Royston next Sunday more rail related news came in in the form of a Press Release from Network Rail.

If you cast your mind back to last March you may recall a very interesting (to me) report on how Network Rail was trying to combat the poor ground conditions around Barnehurst station and the less than wonderful Victorian engineering practices that had led to four landslips in just a handful of years.

The costs involved in fixing the whole stretch of line were prohibitive but Network Rail promised to tackle the most vulnerable stretch within the next five years. They have done rather better than that and will spend £6·6 million on the line next February.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Southeastern will be unable to provide a train service between Kidbrook and Barnehurst next February 15th to 23rd but things can’t carry on as they are, the job has to be done.

A whole load of detail is available on the Network Rail website.

Councillor Stefano Borella (Labour, Slade Green and North End) thought that affected passengers would prefer an express bus to Abbey Wood instead of towards London. I think I can see practical problems with that but Stef knows far more than I do about trains. If you think it would be a good idea maybe you should tell your Councillor.


18 September (Part 3) - For your amusement (and despair at the lack of intellect on display)

It is not only MPs who have overflowing email Inboxes, it is sometimes me too. A week ago I had 82 unread emails and now it’s 110. Almost none of it is truly spam, I have senders I do not recognise in both Liverpool and Hull who send offers I simply cannot refuse but the remainder is from people or organisations which purport to be more local or at least known to me. Recently I have ruthlessly deleted anything that has an unappealing Subject line, otherwise I am going to be submerged.

An email I have read is perhaps relevant to Bonkers but gives every indication of coming from a deranged source. No one has ever called me Malkie before; here it is in all its glory, spelling errors, poor punctuations and all…

So , Bexley Council are busy with ADOPTIONS , you say .Well people who go about “ METAPHORICALY MURDERING” other people’s children TOTALLY REQUIRE to have ALL subsequent generations REMOVED from them .This is being done in order to ERADICATE FAR RIGHT TRASH from society . Speaking of FAR RIGHT TRASH ,how is that investigation into the DANNY MORGAN case going ? I knew Morgan back in 85 .He tried to " investigate " me on behalf of his bent ,pimping , criminal Dibble mates . He was like a cheap version of Del Trotter , always going to be a next year millionaire , off the backs of other people , of course. He was mixed up to the hilt with drugs and the trafficking of young females . " Oh NO! Not Danny " , I hear you say .But YES ,Morgan was a State sanctioned SUPER CRIM .I saw what he was up to .I worked as an authors researcher at that time , and so I kept meticulous diaries and notes of all that went on around me .Danny boy features in those quite a lot . Now , I’m going to publish al l my info from back then ,plus helpful website ,YouTube channel , tell all interviews on other peoples channels , Facebook and Twitter accounts to. I should pull a ‘Nice little earner’ from that , whadaya think Malkie ? BTW , I’m the Mother of the child who you allege to have been “METAPHORICALY MURDERED ” So , Malkie the alchy, how funny do you think you are now ? Bet you wish you hadn’t crossed me . You could go complain to your local Constable Dibble ,NO WAIT , you can’t because they hate you....Teresa Pearse might help ,but no ,her party are getting rid of her .Is that because she's pals with your NAZIFIED self ? You could go to your trusty local councillor , but he/ she likely can’t stand the sight of you either .Oh what a conundrum , PMSL ,LMFAO ,LOL ,LULZ ,MWHAHAHAHAHA etc etc ....Have a good day Malkie , hope Danny’s brother isn’t too mad with you for stirring up shit in the first place .

I fail to understand any of it. The word adoption (in the giving a home to a child sense) was last used on Bonkers in December 2018 and was a reference to the cost of the service. The only child murder ever reported was of Rhys Lawrie in 2012.

Could this be the mother of the child? No, she was at most a toddler in 1985.

Danny Morgan? I’ve never heard him referred to as Danny before. To family he was Dan. For the uninitiated he was a sort of distant relative of mine who I never met. He was murdered in 1987 when he attempted to expose police corruption (robberies and drugs mainly) in South East London. It’s well established fact and I have a copy of the letter in which the Met. Police accepted it was their worst ever case of corruption.

Teresa Pearse (sic) has not been sacked, she has done her bit for the community and decided not to stand for election again and I am on good terms with Daniel’s brother so long as we steer clear of the B word.

“Malkie the alchy.” That’s a good one, not even one drink a week and I still have the unopened bottle of whisky in my cupboard bought for my 21st birthday party.

And to think such people are given the vote.

Incidentally, the anonymous email facility is not totally anonymous, nothing on the web is. I could probably ask the technical director of my ISP - a personal friend - who accessed the Contact page at whatever time.

I only did that once after receiving some pretty rude stuff and the police became involved. At their request it was traced to a company office known to be frequented by Councillor Peter Craske.


18 September (Part 2) - Calling in favours?

Rumour has it, or more precisely a large hint from within the Civic Offices, that Bexley Council Leader Teresa O’Neill was hob-nobbing with the Prime Minister last week taking advantage of a relationship built up when he first became Mayor of London and when Mr. Johnson announced publicly that our Council Leader was the London local politician he most admired.

Such a close relationship should probably be encouraged and work in favour of Bexley residents but I do remember when it appeared to be a relationship used to protect Bexley Council from its misdemeanours; but those days are over, aren’t they?Teresa and Boris

Boris Johnson, James Cleverly and Teresa O’Neill in Bexley.

We will probably not learn the truth until the Leader makes her next report to Full Council.


18 September (Part 1) - Eff off and die

I never liked Tony Blair. I resisted his dubious charms in 1997 and I would prefer it if he stuck to fleecing the wealthy with his worthless speeches. Mind you, in retrospect, I’m not sure that my 1997 choice of John Major was wise either.

But disliking the man is a long way from wishing him dead. It might be something said half in jest during a private conversation between old mates while slightly inebriated but it should never become something like the official policy of a political party and proudly put out on video.

If you did not already believe that the Liberal Democrat Totalitarian Authoritarian Party were always slightly mad and that under their new leader Jo Swinson they plumb the depths of fifth form politics maybe this video from their Party Conference will persuade you that it really is the party for juvenile minds.

The Lib Dems sing “Tony Blair can Fuck Off and Die”. Cretins and proud of it.

And another thing that is mad. Taking video in vertical portrait mode. TV and cinema screens are wide and getting wider for a reason. An upright format is simply nuts, and it is not just the Lib Dems who do it.


17 September - A victimless crime

In between responding to poisonous pen letters from Brexit obsessives from both ends of the extremist spectrum my good friend Teresa Pearce MP has been doing battle on my behalf with Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner who until now has been unable to differentiate between two different complaints.

Incompetence personifiedThe first was against Sergeant Cooke and Constable Brookes from Swanley Police Station after the Sergeant decided to charge me for reporting news of former Bexley Councillor Maxine Fothergill’s expensive trip to the libel courts in 2017. Fortunately the Crown Prosecution Service came to the conclusion that a charge of reporting news was not likely to stand up in court even when dribbled out over a long period and the label harassment was attached to it.

That complaint was resolved long ago when Kent’s Professional Standard’s Directorate concluded, contrary to a statement by the Sergeant’s own Inspector, that neither police officers had done anything wrong. I accepted their verdict, it is foolhardy to expect honesty from the police.

The second complaint was more than that, it was an allegation that Fothergill had both lied to and misled the police in her signed statement alleging that I had been making her life a misery by writing 42 blogs about her. Those who remember the now withdrawn blogs may recall that far from hounding Fothergill I was defending her against what I believed to be a revenge attack by senior Bexley Tories for something far too complicated to be repeated here.

Kent Police told me that they would not investigate Fothergill because I was not the victim of her alleged crime. I became the fifth, I think it was, person to have brought a serious criminal allegation against Fothergill whose complaints were either ignored or acknowledged but not investigated by Kent Police.

Thanks to Teresa Pearce and more correspondence than should have been necessary, the Crime Commissioner has now accepted that there were two separate and very different complaints, something I first told him nearly a year ago. However as a member of the public I was told I was abusing the complaints process and at first even Ms. Pearce was getting much the same answer.

She has now made a breakthrough. The Commissioner accepts he has muddled the two complaints but still insists I was not the victim of Fothergill’s untruthful signed statement. Presumably an overworked MP will now be going back to the Commissioner yet again until she manages to penetrate his thick skull.

“Not the direct victim [of Fothergill’s alleged] crime” which surely implies a crime had been committed.

After I was informed last January that Kent Police could not react to my allegation against Fothergill I enquired how they came to the conclusion I was not Fothergill’s victim and sent the following email to Kent Police. It was neither acknowledged nor answered.

Basically, if I was not Fothergill’s victim, who the hell was?

In your letter dated 8th January 2019 you state that I am not the victim of former Bexley Councillor Maxine Fothergill’s criminal intent and that because of that you are “not obliged to provide any update.

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 Brookes 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 Brookes 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.

My letter of 18th December 2018 said I would refer the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct “this time next month. That remains the cut off date while no satisfactory response is forthcoming from the Chief Constable.

Malcolm Knight

For the record the Independent Office for Police Conduct refused to accept a complaint and referred it to the Crime Commissioner.


16 September - Late and later

Bin deliveries running even later
The new recycling bins are delayed again. The revised September date is now back to November with a 14 week distribution period. They are being made in Telford, Shropshire by Craemer Ltd. Not their fault, they were ordered far too late.

Harrow Manorway
Bus laneRunning even later is the rebuilding of Harrow Manorway but it will be worth the wait won’t it?

Don’t count on it, the first bus lane has already been marked out and one can already see that the road capacity for general traffic will be only half what it was before the job began.

Bexley Council at its best.


15 September (Part 2) - Ten years of Council watching

CandlesToday is Bonkers’ tenth anniversary; not the blog perhaps because that was a bit of an afterthought. The original plan was merely to highlight a very big lie that Bexley Council’s Highways Supremo told me. I thought it was a big deal but little did I know that it was pretty much the norm and I would be inundated with similar stories from other residents.

What had Andrew Bashford done? He told me that Bexley’s generally appalling road planning fully complied with the Transport Research Laboratory’s guidance. My son was at the time the Chief Safety Consultant to the Department that issued the guidance; how unlucky was that?

On one of his visits he told me that road planning here looked to be either malicious or incompetent. You may think it is both. To be fair the calamity that most caught his attention has since been modified but he has had something to say about the various crazy roundabouts in Bexleyheath. His most recent concern is that there might be no way a fully autonomous vehicle could negotiate the madness that is Trinity Place. I don’t suppose that will surprise anyone.

2009 is a world away politically. I still cling to the hope that Bexley Council has cleaned up its act in the intervening years but every so often its still reverts to type. Nationally things have not improved. I thought that Gordon Brown was the worst Prime Minister there could possibly be and I was hopelessly wrong.

Dare I indulge in some less than impartial political comment? My friend Michael Barnbrook has increased his Twitter followers from almost nothing to 12,000 since he began to stick his political neck out. I suppose if I do it the few I have will disappear and it will take another ten years to build them up again. Do I really care? Probably not.

Probably everyone will agree that the country is in a Constitutional mess but who to blame might be more controversial. I mostly blame Michael Gove for stabbing Boris Johnson in the back in 2016 and Mrs. May for running a calamitous election campaign in 2017, not to mention allowing the EU to write the surrender agreement which as someone said only a country defeated in war should accept. The Economist Yanis Varoufakis according to Google.

However despite the dire position that the country finds itself in thanks to what the numbskulls in Parliament have engineered it does make one thing fairly clear for those of us who retain some faith in the abilities of this country. Which party to vote for when the inevitable election comes.

If the Prime Minister gets us out of the European Union without compromise on 31st October - The Conservative Party.
If Boris Johnson accepts any part of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement - The Brexit Party.
If the Cabinet agrees to pay the European Union more than a token amount of money on exit - The Brexit Party.
If the Conservative Party readmits any of the MPs who were prepared to see the democratic process undermined on 3rd September - The Brexit Party.

There are no doubt other views.

If you believe the world owes you a living, that you can have your cake and eat it, that terrorists are your friends and wish to face in multiple directions at the same time. The Labour Party.
If you believe in renegotiating Mrs. May’s deal and then campaigning against a possibly improved offer. The Labour Party.
If you believe that democracy is best served by rerunning the referendum but avowing to ignore the result whatever it is. The oddly named Liberal Democrat Party.
If you wish to overturn the majority decision of the electorate by simply cancelling everything and pretending nothing has happened during the past three and a half years. The Raving Loony Party. Sorry where did that come from? The Liberal Democrat Party.

The so called Conservatives who have defected to that shameless outfit were never Conservatives at all and the party is well rid of them.

Have I frightened all the readers away yet? I hope so. I’m not sure I want to be still writing about Bexley Council in ten years’ time.


15 September (Part 1) - Karma

There is a shocking amount of car crime in Bexley. Keying in Thamesmead, tyre slashing and window breaking in Abbey Wood, several catalytic converters a day stolen right across the borough by Eastern Europeans in a white Transit anxious to bring cultural diversity to the UK and then there is the almost daily keyless car thefts from people’s drives. And that’s just the reports that have come my way this week.

I’m very glad that my car hasn’t got a catalytic converter and I have always kept the garage just about clear enough to keep it in there when it is not being driven.

While browsing through Hugh Neal’s Maggot Sandwich blog last week I came across a familiar sounding address. 95 Woolwich Road. Yesterday I found the time to research why it sounded familiar.

It is the registered address of Balmonza Ltd and linked to Kulvinder Singh. Mr. Singh is the man behind the demolition of Ye Olde Leather Bottle and for the concrete bunker at 238 Woolwich Road.

He is due in Court this week charged with breaching Health & Safety Regulations

If the snapshot of Hugh’s blog is not big enough to read on your tiny screen, it says that “a black Land Rover was stolen from the front drive of 95 Woolwich Road, Belvedere”. You do know that it is not nice to smile at other people’s misfortunes don’t you?
Blog Companies House


14 September (Part 2) - What about Welling?

The Shoulder of Mutton fence made me think about Welling. I’ve lived near Lesnes Abbey for more than 32 years and was in Plumstead for three years before that and I have very rarely been to Welling.

Racking my brains I bought double glazing there about 30 years ago from a showroom long since gone. In recent years I have bought four pairs of shoes from The Wide Shop because too many of Clark’s quickly fall apart since they moved production to Vietnam; one pair lost both soles within three weeks. I’ve bought a few small electrical bits from the shop opposite Lidl and that’s it. I almost never go there.

After I bought the new car a year ago from Motorline Hyundai Bluewater, who were very ordinary at best, they closed their Dartford Service Centre and asked me to go to their beyond Maidstone premises which I might generously describe as absolute rubbish, so I was very pleased when Ancaster’s in Welling swapped their franchise from Nissan to Hyundai. I was in there for the annual service two weeks ago which they offered to do while I waited and that is how I came to walk the length of Welling High Street, by far the longest in the borough.

There was an amazing range of shops. Beds and furniture, sewing machines, specialist locks and security equipment, a fascinating little tool shop that I plan to go back to when needed and more electrical shops than I knew about.

So why don’t I go there?

The lack of a direct bus service is a factor as is the fact that I am paranoid about Bexley’s parking regime. It’s not that I am totally unwilling to pay but it’s knowing that one silly mistake with a Phone App - mobiles are not my strong point - will cost me dear and then there is that blooming Yellow Box junction.

So I buy almost everything on line and don’t go to Welling and the major factor is Bexley Council. Waiting in for deliveries is a total pain in the backside but better than a PCN.


14 September (Part 1) - The ugly face of Bexley Council

On 31st October 2010 I submitted the following question to Bexley Council to be answered at their November Council meeting

Fence Gate“The Council’s Summer 2010 magazine said that fencing had been put up around Lesnes Abbey Woods to “eradicate” the problem of motorcyclists riding in the woods.

It is obvious to anyone walking there regularly that the fence has been a total failure in that regard but it has excluded the disabled in wheelchairs and at some access points makes entry by the fit and well difficult with a danger of heads making contact with scaffold poles - as the hazard tape confirms.

May I ask the Chairman of the Environment and Regeneration Committee the total cost of fencing Lesnes Abbey and Frank’s Parks.”

The answer was £74,995 which seemed dirt cheap when you consider it would take half an hour or so to walk around those two parks and my own 90 feet of fencing had cost more than two thousand just a few months earlier.

Further questions revealed that there was no prior consultation and the Conservatives blamed Labour for the decision; an Administration that had by then been out of power for four and a half years.

I doubt very much that so much fencing was done for just £75k.

After a few years the wooden posts rotted.

History is now repeating itself. Without prior notice Bexley Council has made an eyesore of Shoulder of Mutton Green in Welling. Concrete posts and scaffold poles around a delightful local amenity. The Philistines.

The locals have complained and been given lame fob offs about travellers’ caravans. They have sought support via a petition too. Take a look and see if you agree with them.
Shoulder of Mutton Green Shoulder of Mutton Green Shoulder of Mutton Green Shoulder of Mutton Green
Shoulder of Mutton Green

Nice house. Nice church. Nice park. Ugly fence. Uncaring Council.


13 September (Part 2) - The Cabinet Member for Bins. More lies

It has often been said that Bexley Council is a council built on lies.

A low tax borough when it is only seven points off being the highest taxing borough in London, lowest car parking charges in S.E. London which was always a blatant lie, saving £1 million pounds a year by moving into the new Civic Offices when their own publicity material makes it clear that the saving was only half of that. The list goes on - and on.

However almost always the lies are political lies, lies told by Conservative Councillors on Social Media and not on official Council distributed literature. But there are exceptions. The Cabinet Member for Bins has a history of lying and his department sent me a letter this week about the brown bin charges.

It excuses the price hike by saying that even after Bexley’s price hike the “cost [of garden waste removal] remains the lowest in London”. That is a lie. My own family members are spread across five London boroughs and Bexley is the only one of them that charges for garden waste removal. There is insufficient time to check all 32 boroughs but even if I found no more Bexley would be fifth on the list.

Bexley, a borough built on lies.
Garden Waste It should not be forgotten that at the Scrutiny meeting at which the garden waste proposals were discussed it was said that separating garden waste from food would save £440,000 a year compared to the old method which is presumably how more honest boroughs manage to provide the service free.

The bin tax is in reality a massive and very successful confidence trick on the population of Bexley.


13 September (Part 1) - Getting there! Abbey Wood’s closed bus stops reduced in number from six to five

Yarnton WayA long term Bonkers reader and occasional contributor told me that I missed a bit of Abbey Wood good news. The Yarnton Way bus stop was recommissioned in time for yesterday’s morning’s rush hour.

I looked back at my 712 photos of the work to see how long it has been shut and discovered that photo number 252 taken on 4th August 2018 was the oldest that showed the Yarnton Way bus stop and it was closed then.

It’s difficult to say what caused such a long delayed opening because the photos taken of the carriageway last June, cone positioning excepted, do not look any different to those taken today.

The stop on the other side of Yarnton Way has not yet been reopened. It’s not even there.

Some bus passengers will be happy but presumably not those on one earlier this week that got to the Harrow Manorway roundabout just before 7 p.m. Unfortunately F.M. Conway had closed the road early. Maybe it was to make up for the time they reopened it three hours late.


12 September (Part 2) - No hiding place

I woke up this morning to find an email from Google in my Inbox. It said they were going to remove one of my 4,500 blogs from their Index pages.
They went on to say the page in question was from 20th June 2014. It looked to be a date etched into my memory. The first blog on a subject which took several years to die, the one that reported how Councillor Cheryl Bacon was badly advised by Council Officers and illegally took a Public Meeting into closed session. Bexley’s Council’s lie machine was forced to go into overdrive to cover their inconsequential error and so began several years of enquiries which eventually saw several well known (at the time) Bexley names referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for Misconduct in Public Office.

According to the police the CPS took a year to lose the evidence and so the case against Bexley Council died as cases always do when corruption may be found on so many levels.

I sought out the blog which Google has blocked but I was wrong, the blog I was thinking of was exactly a year older and had in any case been removed as part of the Bonkers’ clean out in the early months of this year of reputation damaging blogs which I considered to have served their purpose now that Bexley Council is not so obviously bent.

The blog for 20th June 2014 was however indirectly linked to the illegal meeting closure, it referred to the two police officers who dealt with the original incident in an exemplary manner but had then been asked to change their reports retrospectively to suit Bexley Council’s lying Agenda. Put under such pressure by senior officers the lower ranks have little option but to comply, which in my opinion makes them corrupt too.

BiB had discovered that the wife (former wife perhaps) of one of them, another police officer, had been jailed the previous year for Misconduct in Public Office. One can only guess that the blog that reported that fact is not welcomed by those involved.

The same subject was covered by the BBC, Kent on Line, The News Shopper, The Bexley Times and the Daily Mail and still is if you care to Google ‘PC Eileen Arthurs Misconduct in Public Office’. Maybe those news sources will be delisted by Google too or perhaps someone thought that Bonkers would be an easier target than the big boys.

I doubt they can be bothered to rejig their websites to circumvent the Google ban, not so Bonkers. Below is a repeat of the 20th June 2014 blog and the original has been given a new date (and therefore URL).

The news has been out in the open for more than five years, I see no need to suppress it especially when it it is so easily available elsewhere.

The rude words at the end of the old blog are taken from the statement signed by Councillor Melvin Seymour and provided to the police as part of a malicious prosecution of a Crayford resident who had been indiscreet on Twitter.

The statement is untruthful but if one is in a generous mood it is possible to argue that Councillor Seymour did not know it at the time but the police knew the statement was a lie because they had seen the original Tweet which said something rather different.

That did not however stop DS Alastair Vanner of Bexley Police standing in the witness box at Woolwich Crown Court and on oath repeating something that he must have known was untrue - and you wonder why I have no time for any of them.

Old blog follows.

20 June 2014 - Misconduct in Public Office. A family affair?

Someone closely acquainted with Bexley police and their crooked associations with Bexley council (†) asked me why I was so sure that Police Constables Shaun Kelly and Peter Arthurs would have to be pressurised into making false statements in support of Bexley council, maybe they were happy to be associated with liars was the unstated suggestion.

Probably I am naive but that was something that had never crossed my mind encouraged by the fact that the police refused to let Mick Barnbrook have a copy of the two PC’s statements, merely giving assurances that their statements supported Bexley council’s false allegation about five members of the public refusing to leave the council chamber. Being only too well aware of how senior police officers lie as a matter of course I rather thought the statements didn’t actually exist.

But what if the two PCs are wrong ‘uns happy to associate themselves with liars, cheats and crooks?

Research into Shaun Kelly’s history did not get very far. He is the Neighbourhood copper on Teresa O’Neill’s ward which doesn’t prove a lot. Maybe he feels he can’t afford to upset the great lady.

Looking into Peter Arthurs’ history proved to be a bit more interesting but maybe not entirely productive. A Peter Arthurs married an Eileen Hayes in 1983…
…and a Peter and Eileen Arthurs live - or maybe lived - together in Bexley.
With the same names and middle initials it’s not impossible they are the same couple. So where is this leading you might ask. Well it’s probably just wishful thinking but a PC Eileen Arthurs was jailed for two and a half years last year for Misconduct in Public Office.

There is a pre-verdict report on the News Shopper’s website. It includes the little gem of information that PC Eileen Arthurs lived at the same address as Lee May, “suspected of involvement in the 2006 Securitas Heist which was the biggest in British criminal history”.

It’s too much to hope for that PC Peter Arthurs is in some way linked to this and heading in the same direction as Eileen. The indications are unfortunately that it may be all coincidence but it does serve as a reminder that one can be too trusting of the police and maybe I should stop giving PCs Kelly and Arthurs the benefit of the doubt.

† It was John Kerlen as long term readers may have guessed. For newcomers I should explain that in 2011 John Tweeted “What sort of c*** lives in a house like this?” alongside an identified house. It was councillor Melvin Seymour’s house but it was Bexley council that identified it, not John. They then persuaded an obedient Bexley police chief to prosecute him claiming without a shred of evidence that John had encouraged people to post dog faeces through Seymour’s letter box. Will Tuckley repeated the same lie in a letter to John.

Below is part of councillor Seymour’s less than truthful statement to the police…
Where did Seymour get that idea from? No one mentioned dogs but when does the truth ever bother the average Bexley Tory? Seymour repeated the same lies in the witness box. Fortunately, albeit after ten thousand pounds’ worth of barrister’s fees, John was found not guilty. Yet another example of the dishonest steps certain Bexley councillors will take to avenge criticism.

Perhaps Melvin Seymour would like to thank Cheryl Bacon for providing the opportunity to rake up that old story for the benefit of a new audience?

Note: This republished old blog has been very slightly modified because it would otherwise conflict with my decision to wipe references to Councillor Cheryl Bacon’s illegal exclusion of the public from a Public Meeting in June 2013.


12 September (Part 1) - It’s not all bad news

It’s not all bad news in Abbey Wood. The fifth street market will be held in the Abbey Arms car park and to some extent its garden on 21st September.

A similar number of stalls to last time with a return of the candy floss and popcorn sellers.

As stated before, the new management of the Abbey Arms is determined to play a leading role in the community and to that end not only provides near essentials like water and electricity, this time they will have non-stop children’s cinema under their big tent.

Full details below and in further good news the market has proved to be so successful that it will definitely go bi-monthly in 2020.
Market Market


11 September (Part 3) - Profiteering from having fun

Beware propaganda!

On this day in 2018 I signed over £32,110 to a car dealer and with considerable trepidation drove home in a vehicle with no gear box. No, not an automatic, no gear box at all just 204 horsepower with a direct link to the wheels.

It took a bit of getting used to.

I was also very aware that at the moment one drives off a car dealer’s forecourt several thousand pounds are tipped down the drain.

We Buy Any CarToday seven and a half thousand miles later and in a moment of of idle curiosity I put my details into

This was the result. The most expensive second hand model like mine that I have seen was £42,995. Total madness but that is what was being asked.

The reason is supply and demand. You can’t get an electric car on demand anywhere, the best you might do, if you don’t pick up someone’s cancellation, is a two to three month wait for a Tesla.

Meanwhile the government talks out of its backside while encouraging widespread adoption.

If I might rub the petrol heads nose in it a bit the last time I calculated fuel costs it was 0.08 pence per mile and it still brings a smile to my face when I see the driver of the car next to me at the lights has his cap on back to front, windows down so that we can share the throbbing bass line, revving his turbocharger and then I see him receding rapidly in the rear view mirror. (†)

By the middle of next year it will be different, most of the big manufacturers will have electric vehicles on sale and the value of mine will likely plummet.

Ford and Toyota are the only big names with their heads in the sand. When we eventually see Fords they will be little more than rebadged Volkswagens.

† The reason is that an electric motor delivers its full output from the off, no gears necessary to optimise the power output. It just goes smoothly from a standstill.


11 September (Part 2) - Five years of misery. (No it’s not another Parliament)

I suspect that most of those who live in the leafy south of the borough have no idea of what northern residents have had to put up with for the past five years. Southerners have the occasional spell of disruption while Bexley Council wrecks another road but in the north it has been relentless as five separate but overlapping operations go on for ever and well past their predicted completion dates and the revised completion dates.

Maybe it is time for a reminder of just how poor Bexley’s highways planning is under their Chief Engineer Andrew Bashford.

Felixstowe Road It started in August 2013 when Network Rail moved in to build the Crossrail station and closed the Felixstowe Car Park aided and abetted by Bexley Council who imposed additional street parking restrictions not to mention exorbitant street parking charges in selected roads.

Fortunately the Network Rail operation went according to plan and the station opened on the day that had been predicted several years earlier. It may not have been completely finished but at least they didn’t disrupt the roads further. Network Rail completely moved out of the Felixstowe Road Car park about a year ago but Bexley Council has kept it closed.

Network Rail has not however been the big problem, it’s been Bexley Council with their four separate but related road projects. The flyover, Harrow Manorway, Gayton Road and Felixstowe Road. You might add Wilton Road too but that was done by Greenwich Council and finished more or less on time.

Bexley Council first made a move on the flyover in 2017. My first photograph of it was taken on 1st March. By coincidence I took my last photo of the work on 1st March 2019. That was seven or eight months late according to Bexley Council.

Harrow ManorwayVery soon after work began on the flyover Harrow Manorway itself was disrupted. FM Conway moved in on 26th May 2017. Bexley Council said the job would be completed by the Autumn of 2018. When it was wasn’t they said it would be done by June this year. Naively I believed them which is why all my 709 photos of the work are filed under a June 2019 date.

The job is still nowhere near being done.

Work on Gayton Road was not due to start until January 2018 but it was deferred until October for reasons which were not entirely unreasonable and given a February 2019 completion date but here we are in mid-September and it is still not completed. The barriers are still there and the promised passenger drop off points and black cab rank are not available either. Did someone mention the promised dozen or so trees? There are none.

Felixstowe Road was supposed to start even earlier, November 2017. Work actually began in April this year and my first photo was taken on the 18th and scheduled to end this Autumn. Perhaps I was optimistic in filing the photos with a September date but the job is probably no more than half done right now.

Their four road schemes reveal shockingly poor planning by Bexley Council. If their forecasts had been correct everything would have been back to normal a year go. Meanwhile we have massive diversions, some for months on end (Felixstowe Road) and others for only weeks. (Harrow Manorway.)

I’m no expert but FM Conway seems to have done a decent job and one must hope it doesn’t go the same way as Bexleyheath Broadway. I do however wish they took more care with pedestrian crossings. The latest example is by the roundabout near Sainsbury’s. They have diverted two carriageways into one which may be fair enough but there is no provision whatsoever for those who might need to cross the road.


11 September (Part 1) - The Eyes have it. The Eyes have it

Swinson, Abbott, Rudd, May, Long Bailey, Rayner, Phillips, Thornberry. Why are so many who achieve high political office so obviously out of their depth?

Emily Thornberry Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury.

Have I missed any?


10 September - One brave man in a sea of serpents

MPs have no idea of the contempt with which many of us hold a lot of them have they? It is pleasing that I have not seen any of Bexley’s featured in the news but some are intent on proving themselves the most amazing of undemocratic cretins who deserve every humiliation when the election eventually comes; but not all of them.

Imagine being as brave and I suppose thick skinned as this man. I bet he is pleased that he doesn’t have to go back to work this morning. Not all MPs are as pathetic as you might think they are.

Ian Austin Labour MP for Dudley North.

Who is the pathetic creature sitting behind him and interrupting? Have I proved yet to the PC from West Heath that Bonkers is not a Labour sponsored blog?


9 September - Speculation and squabbles

While the Council is pretty much still in Summer recess I have looked elsewhere for things to do. One was the aircraft noise issue and I rather wish I had not covered it because until then I didn’t notice aeroplanes going into London City and now I hear them frequently, albeit far away and not very loud. Perhaps I really had learned to tune them out. However at long last a meeting is coming and the Agenda is published. It is the Members’ Code of Conduct Committee meeting on Wednesday week and the list of complaints received is just a little bit interesting.
Complaints It’s the third one that caught my eye and persuaded me I ought to attend. The Labour Group is complaining about a Councillor’s behaviour on Social Media and a failure to declare an interest in something or other. That sounds very reminiscent of another meeting I attended; one with the Councillor for Thamesmead East in a pub.

I am guessing there is a connection but I remember that rather a long time ago, it may have been last year, Danny Hackett came over all LibDem (†) and said Bollox, Bollox, Bollox in reply to an idiotic Twitter or Facebook post. My recollection is that no one cared until he left the Labour Party. They wouldn’t be so petty as to complain about it now would they?

The failure to declare an interest is by now just a vague memory for me but what recollection I have is that Danny either didn’t do a job at all or he did do it and it didn’t amount to much, I dunno.

I could be barking up the wrong tree or as Councillor Read might say, simply barking but it would be enormous fun if my guess was somewhere near right and I could persuade Councillor Hackett to run some of his old emails past me again.

Bonkers has not done any decent muck raking for months and months and a mini-scandal could be just what it needs as the blog’s tenth anniversary approaches.

† Former LibDem Leader Vince Cable said Bollox to Brexit.


5 September - Gate crashing City Airport

One of the possibly throw away lines by Tim Hulley, City Airport’s Director of Infrastructure and Planning, at the meeting last Tuesday in Belvedere was that any “stakeholder” could go to their quarterly consultative meetings. I’ve never been sure what defines a stakeholder but I do know that Bexley Council’s delegated airport stakeholder is Councillor James Hunt. I also know that James has been in trouble with his Labour colleagues for not attending any of the meetings and I have heard his excuses.

I looked up when the next meeting was to be held and discovered it was to be this afternoon in Newham’s swanky new headquarters overlooking the airport runway. I was due in East Ham anyway so escaped early presenting myself at the reception desk as a stakeholder for Thamesmead. The airport PR people welcomed me with open arms. Nobody had represented Thamesmead before. (It was only a small fib.)

Ten minutes later Councillor James Hunt rolled up having taken a half day off work. We sat together to see if we would learn anything. The presentation was a slightly extended version of what was shown in Belvedere two days earlier so I didn’t learn a lot that was new. James who had mugged up on the Airport Master Plan on-line was probably the same.

It soon became apparent that the failure to invite James to previous meetings was not special treatment meted out to him. Three Councillors from other boroughs made the same complaint.

So what was new compared to Tuesday?

Despite passenger numbers being up by 42% in the past five years aircraft movements are down. I learned that the overnight flight curfew caused massive inconvenience to delayed passengers who are diverted to Stansted etc. all over a couple of minutes lateness with the knock on effect of the aircraft not being available for an early morning departure. The word flexibility was mentioned but without any intention to change the basic opening hours.

There was confirmation that a new generation of aircraft, some are already operating from London City, will be noticeably quieter on take off but not a great deal better on the landing approach. The diagram below indicates the old (blue) and new (orange) ground level noise at two decibel levels.

The bad news is that it will be 15 years before the quieter aircraft become 75% of the total. (The current new planes are operated by Swiss Air, the ones with the big red cross on the tail fin.)

To the surprise of many it was said that the old propeller driven aircraft were noisier on landing than any of the current jets but quieter on take off however the fact remains that with more aircraft movements the gaps between them will be shorter; speaking of which between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. I noted only two landings but from 5 p.m. to 6 planes were taking off very frequently.

The airport people were at pains to say that their Master Plan was only their forecasts and initial ideas and that they had made up their minds on nothing. It has no statutory force. There was widespread cynicism.

A Councillor from Lewisham had a big bee in her bonnet about climate change and so didn’t really want anyone to fly at all. She got very close to calling the airport management liars. Someone from a group called Stop City Airport went further and said they were all “duplicitous”.

A Greenwich Councillor read a question from a sheet of A4 and freely admitted she didn’t have any idea what the question meant. Presumably she didn’t understand the answer either.

There were at least five of us who were no more than resident busybodies some a lot more knowledgeable than others. A lady who lived at the eastern end of the runway seemed to be reasonably content with her lot whilst others from as far away as Lewisham and Lambeth were not.

In my humble opinion James Hunt’s absence from earlier meetings has made no material difference to any Bexley resident. One might argue that Bexley Council should have nominated a Thamesmead East Councillor to be the airport delegate but that is not the way the Tories work. In practice it doesn’t make a scrap of difference, if any of the Labour Councillors are serious about defending their residents right to a quiet life they can take a seat alongside James Hunt. As I proved this afternoon there is nothing to stop them taking an afternoon off work as James did.

Aggrieved residents could go too.


4 September (Part 2) - Green but very mean

I was thinking of driving around Bexley to see if there has been any progress towards the Council’s planned installation of 13 electric charging points but today I have been saved the trouble. Bexley Council has issued a Press Release on the subject and it is clear that they have yet to make a start.

Charging plugTheir 13 charging points is fewer than half what can be found off Bugsby Way in Greenwich alone but they are not the same. Bexley’s are to be provided by a company called ChargeMaster with every indication that they will cost plenty. In Greenwich they are free to use.

The more popular Electric Vehicles become the more the industry is showing signs of becoming a rip off. The electric car I bought a year ago is now £5,000 more expensive which makes it a candidate for George Osborne’s iniquitous Luxury Car Tax.

A year ago the most expensive public charging was 25 pence per kilowatt hour with many being free and now it is 39 pence almost everywhere. That makes it more expensive to run an EV than it was to run my old petrol engined runabout.

In practice it is not as bad as that sounds for the many people who can charge overnight on an Economy tariff but the situation is getting to be silly especially when so many of the chargers at Motorway Service Areas are out of order and do not work on newer cars.

Sooner or later the government will want to recoup the lost fuel duty revenues; but back to the present.

Except where there are large banks of charging points it is almost the norm to find the charging bays ICEd, which is short hand for them being occupied by Internal Combustion Engine cars or EVs which are not charging.

Just for once I hope that Bexley’s Parking Enforcement teams are out in force handing out Penalty Charge Notices.

Motorists can be a selfish bunch and the picture shows the remains of a charging plug lazily not replaced in its holster in a Bexley store’s car park. Then someone ran over it; the voltage and maximum wattage available are most certainly lethal.

Fortunately the charging points chosen by Bexley Council require motorists to bring their own cable so maybe they will be a little more careful than they are with the more powerful tethered cable units.

Proposed locations. Bellegrove Road, Danson Lane, Sherwood Park Avenue, St.John’s Road (Welling). Blackfen Parade. Walnut Tree Road and Erith Road (Erith). Methuen Road and Sandford Road (Bexleyheath). Nuxley Road and Picardy Street (Belvedere). The Oval (Sidcup) and Crayford Waterside.


4 September (Part 1) - London City Airport is growing. Noise can only get worse

In another example of Bexley Council’s neglect of their northern territories they have taken no known interest in London City Airport’s long term forecast which predicts a near doubling of the number of flights.

London CityNot once has their delegate attended a Airport Consultative Committee and unlike all the other nearby boroughs they have not brought the current Consultation to Bexley. I was told why Bexley’s delegate had not attended any Committee meeting, he missed a meeting due to a date clash after which he was never invited again. It’s a reasonably good excuse but the fact remains that Bexley has been left without a voice while City Airport gears up for expansion.

Bexley Labour’s Transport Spokesman Stefano Borella and his Belvedere and Thamesmead East colleagues decided that standing idly by while the Conservatives did nothing about the Consultation was not an option. Last night there was a public meeting in Belvedere with a representative from the airport and their noise consultant.

It should be stated at the outset that there are at present no airport plans as such, at this stage it is more of a crystal ball exercise looking at the next 15 years and until the middle of October anyone is free to tell the airport authorities how they feel about it.

London City Airport is a big employer (2,200 jobs) doing a vital job for the economy although its five million a year passengers is a drop in the ocean compared to London’s three big airports; just 4% of the total.

However their studies suggest a 42% growth in passenger numbers by 2025 and eleven million ten years later without extending the operating times. That’s twice as many passengers as today and with aircraft not likely to get any bigger it must mean twice as many flights. The new taxi-way being constructed right now will free up runway capacity to allow the increase.

Future aircraft are expected to be as much as 6dB quieter on take off which is a big reduction but only about 2dB quieter on landing which is barely perceptible. Residents living on the flight path are understandably concerned and the most usual wind direction means they will not benefit from the 6dB reduction.

A small number were quite vocal about it last night and I began to think I should get my ears tested again. One visitor had come from Stockwell because of the perceived noise problem down there but when I have been sitting at the nearby Oval watching Surrey lose cricket matches I see the planes immediately overhead heading for London City. I never seem to hear them.

Perhaps I have learned to tune out aircraft noise. I live almost as close to the airport as it is possible to be whilst remaining within the Belvedere ward. I see the aircraft from home but I am not very aware of any noise.

I stood in my front garden this morning looking and listening and I agree I could hear them but not louder than the buses 150 yards away on Abbey Road and nothing like as loud as a passing train. However someone at the meeting whose comment suggested a nearby address said that when an aircraft takes off in an easterly direction and turns to the north he is subjected to the full force of of its engines. Either my hearing is seriously kaput (and SpecSavers says it isn’t) or I feel there must be an element of exaggeration or intolerance going on.

Perhaps I should declare an interest or maybe it’s a bias. From 1949 until 1984 I lived less than a mile from the runway at Farnborough when it was the centre of British Aviation.

ConcordeIf you have not been blown to the ground by a Vulcan bomber as it switches its Olympus engine to reheat at low level or you have gone through life and managed to avoid having the hairs on your arm singed by a Naval Buccaneer bomber (†) you don’t really know what aircraft noise is.

The underside of Concorde pictured here was taken from my back garden long before I owned a telephoto lens and what you see has not been cropped.

The difference from me in Farnborough and Thamesmead residents is that Concordes and Vulcans flying over were relatively rare events.

No one flies pure jet engines commercially any more (Concorde was the last) and quieter bypass engines have become the norm. (Name dropping; the leading ‘inventor’ was a personal friend until he died four years ago.)

So as you can see I am not a good judge of what constitutes unacceptable aircraft noise but I do know that on the rare occasions I take a trip to Thamesmead’s shopping centre I am surprised at just how low the aircraft appear to be but I have never been particularly aware of the noise.

When you have been under a slow moving Harrier jump jet you just accept that aircraft are noisy. I also accept that it can’t be any fun living under the flight path and many of the houses there pre-date the opening of London City and the promise never to fly jet aircraft from it.

Labour’s Press Release on the subject is here and perhaps more importantly anyone with more sensitive ears than mine should make sure their opinion is heard via the Consultation process.

† As a teenager with a group of friends I climbed the airfield perimeter fence and got a little too close to the runway.


2 September - Harrow Manorway regeneration gets even messier

Harrow Manorway Harrow ManorwayThis evening Bexley Council closed the Harrow Manorway/Yarnton Way roundabout for resurfacing; why it will take three whole weeks is not yet clear, maybe the roundabout is to be remodelled.

Traffic at the roundabout at 9 p.m. was quite light although 90 minutes earlier I noted a queue of nine buses waiting for the single bus stop at the foot of Knee Hill, many of them diverted routes.

At various bus stops along Harrow Manorway people were waiting for buses that will not come until dawn, many people were walking towards Thamesmead.

At the roundabout itself it was far from clear what motorists should do. The car in the final picture had come from Yarnton Way without impediment and took the northern side of the roundabout towards Eynsham Drive where a head on collision was narrowly avoided because it had been made one way only without warning.

Harrow Manorway from the Station to Eastern Way was scheduled to be completed a year ago.

Well done Bexley Council, it’s what we have come to expect of you.

Harrow Manorway Harrow Manorway Harrow Manorway Harrow Manorway


1 September - It’s just not cricket

CricketI’ve said before that for technical reasons there has to be a blog entry on the first of each month but right now I can’t think of anything of much interest. Does anyone need a reminder that Bexley Council plans to reintroduce evening road chaos to Abbey Wood and Thamesmead?

There’s only a couple of Council meetings this month that might be worth going to; I wonder who has caused the Code of Conduct Committee to be convened. Has someone managed to stick some nonsense on Independent Councillor Danny Hackett yet? It is obvious that there are people out there determined to get him for having more sense than they have.

The picture shown here is a bit worrying, I have seen Councillor Philip Read Tweeting from the Oval Cricket Ground before but I’ve not worried about it as the photographs have shown him to be sitting on the opposite side of the ground to me.

This time they are pictured uncomfortably close. It’s a good job I did not go the the Members’ Bar or I might have had to offer to buy Philip a drink.

Perhaps I should rethink my Surrey Membership. Given their performance in the T20s over the past couple of years and the number of times matches have been rained off it’s probably the sensible thing to do, Philip Read or not.


Return to the top of this page