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News and Comment December 2021

Index: 2019202020212022

29 December (Part 2) - The Bonkers’ End of Year Soapbox

I donְְ’t think there have been any guest blogs on Bonkers since recording engineer Nicholas Downing disappeared from the Council scene. His first blog may be seen here. Requests to contribute to Bonkers are not infrequent but they tend to be advertisers and evangelists of various sorts so I welcomed the offer of a Highlights of the Year contribution from a reader as my right wing view of the world is probably not to everybody’s taste.

It is not the first time that an end of year Top Ten has appeared here but they do not age well so please forgive the lack of links.

Whilst the author prefers not to have his name attached I would guess that Twitter users may draw certain conclusions from both his themes and style. In his number one spot is Nicola Taylor’s Roofless House.

The Roofless House

Daily Mail coverage! @bexleynews and their voters’ favourite newspaper! Cllr Gower promising, but never delivering, a game-changing revelation. Cllr Taylor more than making up for her strike-time Facebook gaffe.


“Just being prudent” @bexleynews will say, but being one of only four (initially) councils to have gone this route, with the others having good excuses, raises questions. The external-assessment report, published by CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) in December, suggests some awkward comparisons between Bexley and next-door, also Tory Bromley. 60% of Finance jobs unfilled - ouch.

The Summer of Stink (Serco)

@bexleynews instinctively siding with Serco, who appear to have been in the wrong. (If wage disparities were removed, and back wages paid out). “No. 1 Recycling borough” no more.

Wild(man) partying

@bexleynews’ most active individual Twitter account gone overnight.

Candidate French refuses to rule out a second job

Boris’s charm deadly at close range - though fades with distance. Cllr Hackett’s residual reputation destroyed by making feeble excuses for French. (“He was talking about a second job *during* the campaign!”).

Closure of Children’s Services Centres

Cllr Gower reporting a similar strategy being applied by Croydon. (Important context: Croydon went bankrupt and probably would do *anything* to save money).

The Allowance Freeze and Volunteer Event

Cllr Hackett’s proposal declined, Labour’s proposal declined - then a turn-around. Spending the money (£37k!) on a … party, never offering the catering contract for tender, resisting FOI disclosure.

Fake Members of the Public

Revival of an old tradition.

Nixing of the road safety budget

Borough’s headmasters learning about this on a video call with Cllr Clark, who assumed they already knew. (The laid-off Road Safety staff member was supposed to tell them before she went). Note also the June 28 BiB post re: road safety, with a quote from Cllr Seymour.

Cllr Davey's Twitter account (Lifetime achievement award)

Juvenile, inflammatory comments about political opposition, inappropriate any year but especially after the cases of Jo Cox and David Amess. Today’s tweet is a lowlight.

Having given someone the opportunity to provide an alternative point of view it wouldn’t be fair to argue - well not much anyway. None of those named would appear on my own list, not even retiring Councillor Val Clark.

Maybe in a day or two…


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