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News and Comment May 2012

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30 May - Bexley council. Wicked through and through

John Waring House extension Soakaway preparationsI went back to look at Mrs. Grootendorst’s garden yesterday and got a bit of a shock. The builder of her extension has abandoned her.

In April Waring and his companion served his first (defective) S.215 notice in the presence of the builders, they took fright at the council’s intrusion and Mr. and Mrs. Grootendorst are left to exist in a building site. Meanwhile Waring is said to frequently spend time with the neighbours taking photos and offers the excuse that the work has had an impact on them. I’m sure it has, building work always does. What is so special about the Grootendorsts to warrant abnormal protection for her neighbours?

Rita Grootendorst is a 63 year old woman whose husband suffers from autism and cannot offer a great deal of support. Their house is barely habitable having been left open to the elements with the kitchen and bathroom both wrecked. The garden and outbuildings have been filled with more building debris than Rita could ever hope to move unaided. The garden has lost its attractiveness because of the builders’ stuff and things Rita is saving for her next garden redesign. She is a great enthusiast for water butts and garden ornaments but is far too distressed to have done much gardening this year. In any case the regulations relating to the soakaway demand that the 15 metres nearest the house are destroyed, so to some extent, what would be the point?

John Waring (pictured) has made defamatory remarks about her (I’ve seen some of them) and she complained to Bexley council in mid-February. She asked for evidence for his remarks. Bexley council refused to accept the complaint.

A friend of Rita’s who is a GP met several council officials including Deputy Director (Development, Housing & Community Safety) David Bryce-Smith, to discuss her plight and put it to Bexley council that responsible local authorities provided help to people with problems but Bexley council doesn’t agree. She was shocked to be told that Bexley council had no protocols to deal with malicious complaints or to assist victims of harassment.

The Grootendorsts have been left close to homeless partly because of the punitive attentions of Bexley council, in particular John Waring and his associate shown in the photograph. I have conflicting reports as to who the woman might be. It is said she is Diane Blazer and Waring’s boss in Bexley’s Environmental Health Department. On the other hand when I met her last September she told me that she was from the Housing Department and was there only because she volunteered to take some photos for Mr. Waring. Could someone be mistaken or do we have another Bexley council liar?

A council that cared about anyone but themselves would be rallying round offering advice on how to organise assistance for a resident who finds herself almost homeless especially so if the council has been a contributory factor. But perhaps it is what one would expect for someone who stood as an Independent in a council election, helped expose Bexley’s plan to sell allotments and regularly complains about them in newspaper columns.

However you might look at this situation Rita Grootendorst has been driven to despair and needs help but Bexley council is so blinded by spite and vengeance that it sees only one way. Causing the couple untold emotional and financial damage not to mention the stress-related illnesses which their doctors are trying to address and then to cap it all, prosecution and criminalisation. What a disgusting shower Bexley council is.


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