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News and Comment January 2021

Index: 20202021

3 January (Part 1) - Daft drafts

The restoration and technical updating of old blogs has not been progressing very quickly and is still nearly eight years behind the times - May 2013. Very little is available between that date and the beginning of 2020 and what has been reintroduced for specific reasons probably includes broken links.

The exercise has reminded me of the incredible dishonesty that permeated Bexley Council at the time. At one extreme scheming with the police to prosecute residents on false charges and scheming with them again to find an excuse not to prosecute a Councillor arrested on a charge of Misconduct in a Public Office.

Deceiving the local population in election leaflets was mundane by comparison.

This one was clearly meant to portray Labour Councillors as some sort of red lunatics.
Conservative election leaflet
Who do you think might have said that? Someone in Thamesmead East or Slade Green maybe? No, it was the Leader of Liverpool City Council.

Apart from tracking down original photos to see if they can be improved, external links have proved to be a problem. Newspapers seem to have preserved old pages while Bexley Council has quietly lost them. Even some minutes of meetings have gone AWOL, in effect rewriting history. I have begun to redirect such links so that readers are not misled as much as they might otherwise be.

It can’t be easy to run a Council website, most readers will be happy if they can find the next dustbin day or the address of the walk-in Covid test centre. My requirements are not normal and every year I find London Councils that don’t even put their Council Tax rates on their website. Bexley Council’s site is a long way from being the worst in London, not that it is good.

Search facilities everywhere are unreliable. What happens if you search for the latest Accounts? You might stumble upon https://www.bexley.gov.uk/about-the-council/council-budgets-and-spending/annual-accounts. It’s the draft version which went on to be approved in October. Where’s the real thing?

Here we are in January 2021 and Bexley’s website still presents you with nothing better than the Draft version for 2019-20. https://www.bexley.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2020-07/Statement-of-Accounts-DRAFT-2019-2020.pdf.

ArchiveFancy a look at the previous year’s accounts? Now that’s a difficult one. A good hard look may present you with the archive folder as shown here and guess what, once again it is only the Draft version. Statement of Accounts 2018 to 2019.

And while I am being so helpful to Bexley’s webteam, when do you think they will get rid of the near three year out-of-date strapline on the webcast portal? “Listening to you, working for you”. It became too embarrassing even for Bexley Council.

Web portal

 

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