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News and Comment May 2012

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12 May (Part 2) - They set out to deceive us all, and they very nearly succeeded

Bexley Times I expect you think that once the council moves to its new building they are going to webcast their proceedings like many boroughs do. You will have seen the reports to that effect in the Bexley Times and the News Shopper a year ago.

Having attended the notorious Constitution Review meeting chaired by the despicable Teresa O’Neill in April 2011 and the council meeting three weeks later which considered its findings, I too believed that Bexley council intended to get into the world of webcasting. How that sat with their cock-and-bull story that their present stance protects members of the public is not clear, but the last thing you should expect of liars is consistency.

News ShopperThe Constitution Review recommended webcasting, I heard them say so, two local newspapers confirmed it and the full council meeting on 18th May 2011 recommended the Constitution Review’s decision for adoption. So it is not unreasonable to assume that webcasting is coming. But that would be to ignore the sheer deviousness and dishonesty of a council run by Teresa O’Neill and Colin Campbell.

My report of last May’s council meeting reminds us that the Appendix including the Constitution Review’s report was missing from the Agenda Pack. It is still missing from the archive on Bexley’s website. The public were never allowed to see what the Constitution Review actually recommended, only what was said in public. It is not even certain that councillors saw their recommendations. Quite likely the sheep voted for it blind.

So why cast doubt on the plan for webcasting at this late stage when the council has led us to believe it is coming?

Mayor SamsLast month John Watson of the Bexley Council Monitoring Group put forward a question for the council to answer at its next meeting. “In view of the Council’s proposals to have meetings of the Council videoed and tape recorded when it takes up occupation of its new offices, would the Leader take steps to introduce these facilities now to demonstrate the Council’s support for her Government’s commitment to transparency and openness?"

Bexley council has replied as follows… “The Mayor has ruled your question out as it is factually incorrect and therefore not admissible.”

So they have been at it again. Lying and deception is Bexley council’s preferred mode of operation. They fooled us all last May by the simple expedient of saying one thing in public and recommending something else in private. Accidentally on purpose missing Appendix A from the council’s Agenda Pack was a device that succeeded in fooling everyone until John Watson asked another of his questions.

Note: If you have access to the News Shopper’s archive of back issues, their issue of 27 April 2011 covers the same subject on Page 2.


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