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News and Comment October 2012

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29 October - Parking fines. Exposing Bexley’s dishonesty. (Episode 7)

Where did we leave off? “Would the persistent copper be happy with Ms. Brooks’ reply? I suspect you can guess the answer to that one.”

Those who know Bexley council well will know the answer; he didn’t get one. Underling Greg Tippett was dropped in it.

Mr. Tippett admitted in a letter dated 1st March 2010 that the problem would not have arisen if they had checked the location as initially requested. He offered no comment on the assertion that a first complaint only ever initiates a check of the CEO’s report. CEO BL286 had made a false report so Bexley council’s procedure was bound to fail. How often do CEOs make false reports?

Black and white photoThe parking contractor had been penalised said Tippett, mistakenly believing that this might satisfy the disabled policeman, and “had the photographs been scanned in colour then these could have allowed the Authorised Officer to cancel the penalty charge”.

As may be seen, yellow markings show perfectly clearly on a black and white photo and a monochrome flower basket obscures a parking sign just as effectively as a coloured one. One might also reasonably ask why the council’s technological failings should impact adversely on innocent motorists anyway.

Greg Tippett is another Bexley council employee unable to think straight. He rejected outright the contention that the whole procedure was based on “sharp practice” but sensing that the matter wasn’t likely to end there he included a leaflet describing the council’s complaints procedure. It wasn’t long before Director of Customer & Corporate Services, Paul Moore, found a letter on his desk.

Four pages of handwritten A4 covered all the established points and the fact that no one had an answer for CEO BL286’s false claim that all the markings had been inspected and found in order. The ex-policeman went further and defined the legal meaning of the word conspiracy and accused Bexley council of exactly that. For good measure he said the copyright on his photographs had been infringed because Bexley council had scanned them and destroyed the originals. Nine days later there was an answer, not from Mr. Moore of course, no highly paid Bexley official actually does anything himself, the answer came from a minion, albeit a rather senior one, Deputy Director Graham Ward.

Mr. Ward in my limited experience of the man is not well versed in Bexley council trickery. He accepted that the very first response from Bexley council included an untruthful statement. He also graciously accepted that following the victim’s representations “a number of changes have been implemented”. Bearing in mind it was by now March 2010 I would guess that is a reference to the change from Vinci Park to NSL which was taking place at that very moment rather than anything a mere resident had achieved.

Anticipating another long letter Mr. Ward suggested a meeting. Would that or would that not prove to be a strategic mistake?

This story is reported in an indeterminate number of episodes. A cumulative version is provided for convenience.


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