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News and Comment December 2021

Index: 2019202020212022

23 December (Part 1) - It may be good news

In retrospect the attempt to find positive Bexley news in the lead up to Christmas was always doomed to failure while Teresa O’Neill continues to run the borough and her friend Boris Johnson supposedly runs the country. Maybe a re-run of Bexley’s auditor looking for a contract extension will be better than nothing.

Auditor : It’s a Good News story overall.

It wasn’t good news for staff made redundant but never mind that; important things first, the Leader was able to claim that the borough scraped by without actually using the begging bowl she was given.

For how much longer will she cling to power? Earlier in the year party goer Adam Wildman was in favour with the award of a Committee Chairmanship (Pensions) and a Vice-Chair (Resources and Growth). Why? Councillor Wildman (Blendon & Penhill) never contributed a thing to Council meetings and one can only surmise his loyalty to the Leader was a factor. And now he has been deselected.

So that’s one vote down for the Leader. Any more?

We know that Alan Downing (St. Mary’s & St. James) is standing down because he said so and Louie French turned out to be a good guy and a man of his word and as MP will definitely be gone. He was never a Leader’s Lackey so from a Leadership election point of view Louie’s absence may not be helpful.

With Felix Di Netinah lurking in Crayford it is not difficult to deduce that we will see the last of Christine Bishop, another Councillor who never got a mention on Bonkers and according to sources deselected for achieving nothing. Sybil Camsey (Crook Log) is calling it a day too.

Alex Sawyer (St. Mary’s & St. James) is sure to go, his ambitions rise well above being sacked from the Cabinet. Linda Bailey has never been the same since losing her Cabinet position and will be casting envious eyes towards the exit door.

The Bexleyheath ward appears to be just as unhappy as St. Mary’s with two Councillors likely to go. Cabinet Member Brad Smith and former Cabinet Member and Mayor Eileen Pallen. Sue Gower will, voters permitting, return to the fray.

Several sources say that former Mayor Val Clark (Falconwood & Welling) has had enough too.

If you have been keeping count that is nine Conservative Councillors being replaced and there may be more. Except for Alex Sawyer they have one thing in common. Every one of them pretends I do not exist - hostile glares notwithstanding. It is a simplistic measure of their worth and in Louie’s case it let me down but it leaves me a little optimistic for the future. Can the newcomers unseat 16 years of poor Leadership? For year counting pedants O’Neill’s predecessor narrowly escaped a spell inside.


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