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News and Comment October 2012

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10 October (Part 2) - Kevin Fox. Head of Committee Services and Scrutiny

Elwyn Bryant’s plan to take advantage of Bexley council’s stated ‘Protocol and Regulation’s and take a photograph before yesterday’s Public Realm meeting didn’t get off the ground. I had passed him a copy of the email from Mr. Kevin Fox, Bexley council’s favourite jobsworth and as instructed Elwyn emailed Mr. Dave Easton to say he wanted to take a photograph before the meeting.
Protocols and Regulations
Should be a formality. Dave Easton is a decent enough guy and Elwyn and I would be in the council chamber 15 minutes before the scheduled start time so he could take a picture of me and my note book.

100 minutes before meeting start time he received a reply from Fox, the council lackey who invented the totally untrue excuse which resulted in the signatures of 2,219 Bexley residents going straight in the bin. This is what the excuse inventor said to Elwyn…
Kevin Fox's response
Library photoThere is a Protocol to allow photography before a meeting he said, all you have to do is ask. And when you seek permission to take a picture five ten or fifteen minutes before a meeting begins you can’t because it will disrupt it and the subject of the photograph (which Elwyn intended should be me), might object.

Kevin Fox and his elected masters have little intention of complying with the spirit of the new transparency law or - as we will see later today - even its actuality.

It gets worse…

I wrote to Mr. Fox (copied to Easton as requested) seeking permission to photograph the chamber before next week’s Cabinet Meeting started. Anticipating the reaction of the cunning Fox I offered as many assurances as I could.
Email to Dave Easton
Pen jabbing mayorShort of asking Mr. Easton to take a photograph of what he liked when he liked and presenting it to me later I don’t think I could have done more. What did Easton say? Well, err, nothing for six days. Then the lying arse licking Fox took over. He sent me the same email as Elwyn received. (see image 1 above.)

So to sum up, the council says their rules allow photography before meetings, but in practice there are no circumstances in which they will allow it. When, at a council meeting, the pen jabbing mayor trots out his mantra that photography is not allowed without permission and “no such permission has been granted” you know that the implication is just another of Bexley council’s bog standard lies.

There is still scope to take this further and I have; and I imagine that before long news of these developments will reach Eric Pickles’ ear. If there was a single brain cell in Bexley council’s corporate body you would have read today how they had taken their first hesitant step towards running an open democracy accompanied by a picture of an empty council chamber or of me; instead I can only offer for your delectation a stock image of our esteemed pen jabbing mayor. Councillor Alan - I hate deaf people - Downing.

Note: ‘Library photograph’ kindly supplied by a reader. Ditto jabbing mayor.


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