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News and Comment November 2012

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26 November (Part 3) - Double-barrelled incompetence

Benefit changesThe new rules mandate the sharing of rooms by same sex children up to age 21, age ten for children of different sex. “21 seems quite old to share a room. Why not 16 or 18?” asked councillor Ball. “That's what the standard allows” said Bryce-Smith. Stefano Borella asked a question designed to confirm this ruling was chosen by Bexley council and not a central government imposition - and it was Bexley’s.

That’s what I wrote on 28th September 2012 after attending the Adults’ Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting the previous evening. Councillor Ball queried Bexley council’s intention to make ‘children’ up to age 21 share a bedroom. Councillor Borella made double sure he had heard correctly and Deputy Director Bryce-Smith said he had.

On 1st October I reported that Bryce-Smith appeared to be intent on stepping outside what the law permits and now the latest issue of Bexley’s magazine confirms it - or should that be corrects it? Better late than never.

How is it that Bexley council can make such a mess of planning its application of the law of the land equitably? Shouldn’t directors and their deputies on six figure salaries have a clear understanding of the law and be able to tell intuitively when they are embarked on a course of action that no one with any sense would contemplate?

It would be naive to feign surprise. David Bryce-Smith was the man in charge of the persecution of Rita Grootendorst. He was the man who backed a loser and was cut down to size in Bromley Court. At the pre-hearing in Bexley Court I heard Mr. Wong, Bexley’s solicitor, tell the court that Bryce-Smith could not possibly attend as a witness because he was paid far too much money for his time to be justified. Earlier on it had transpired that he didn’t even have the legal authority to do what he had been doing.


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