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News and Comment November 2021

Index: 2019202020212022

4 November (Part 6) - Not all bad

There are advantages and disadvantages in watching Council meetings on the webcast. Advantages are not having to drive across Bexley but the disadvantages is that one gradually gets out of date with the appointment of new Council Officers and the webcast is limited technically. In particular if a row breaks out only one microphone is active at any one time so any insults flung might be inaudible. Screen grabs are nothing like as good as a decent SLR shot either.

Last night I decided to put in a personal appearance but Bexley Council was not very welcoming. It provided no Agendas for members of the Public and you can’t scribble in the margin of a mobile phone copy or easily read ahead to see what is coming next. Photo opportunities were limited by a failure to dust off the raised seating.

James HuntBut it was a good meeting nevertheless, partly because I arrived early and Councillors were unusually friendly; then the icing on the cake was Mayor James Hunt getting more than a little ratty with the small number of Labour Councillors who can never resist arguing with his decisions and being vocal uninvited.

It was always thus.

I was warmly welcomed by Peter Reader, nothing unusual about that, light hearted banter with John Davey whose Twitter wit I find amusing and a nod of acknowledgement from Andy Dourmoush.

Daniel Francis spared a minute or two from his busy schedule. Richard Diment said hello and June Slaughter said a few words as she passed by. Cabinet Member Sue Gower made me jump while I had my head in the phone with more friendly words. The first face to face conversation but she was always ready to discuss things via Social Media so not much of a surprise.

During the meeting I went outside to where the Agendas are normally kept to see if I had missed them, but no. Minutes later election hopeful Frazer Brooks showed up with one he had found somewhere. What a nice gesture, he should go far but maybe not if Teresa O’Neill noticed.

After the meeting new Councillor Lisa-Jane Moore risked her reputation by making a special trip across the chamber to introduce herself.

Have I missed anyone? Well I suppose so. Nicola Taylor sent me a text message after the meeting to say that she was sorry she’d not noticed me hiding behind Peter Craske.

At the Chamber exit door John Fuller engaged in conversation too; nothing unusual about that either.

On the way out Danny Hackett was talking to the reception staff and out of their earshot on the other side of the front door notes were compared about how we regarded the meeting. In very much the same way as it happens, a sort of what was the point of all that?

While there Aaron Newbury, the Conservative wannabe in Northumberland Heath wandered by with his nose in the air. Maybe an early sign that voters there should stick with chatterbox Wendy. Perhaps she will win by more than two votes next May. Council meetings would be dull without her.


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