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News and Comment September 2012

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10 September (Part 1) - Bexley council says no to technology. Pickles stuffed

Ever since Eric Pickles announced that councils would be obliged to assist bloggers and the like to report council meetings, relevant forums and newspaper comment columns have buzzed with excitement from those who expect to be able to walk in to Bexley’s Civic Offices with a camera slung around their neck. But nothing is as simple as that. Pickles has an established track record of saying all the right things but never following them through. It won’t be any different this time around. He may have issued a press release including…
Pickles' press release
…but in Bexley he has a crazy council to contend with. No; worse then crazy, that might describe Barnet (†) and their policies, but at least they allow cameras into their chamber. Bexley is more criminal than crazy and I don’t just mean the rumours circulating about councillor Peter Craske. Don’t forget how our former leader Ian Clement went on the rampage with a council credit card and Teresa O’Neill refused to report him to the police. Craske, if he is a criminal, won’t be the first to be protected by Teresa O’Neill and her cronies.

Since Pickles’ announcement I have heard the full gamut of intentions on cameras and future council meetings. Some assume they can just walk in with their zoom lenses and others have sought official permission. I have aimed low asking only that I should be allowed to take wide-angle scene setting shots before a meeting begins. As yet I have had no reply but others have. The salient part is…
Paul Moore’s reponse to the question of cameras
The current rulesPretty much the same old diatribe from the self-serving suspected criminals and perjurers who run Bexley council.

Facilities for bloggers
As well as requesting the use of a camera before meetings I also asked that they reserve me a seat as they have done in the past for newspaper journalists. That will be a harder one for Bexley council to dodge, but they will no doubt try.

† Other Barnet blogs are available. The Barnet Eye. Broken Barnet.


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