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News and Comment September 2012

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20 September - Feeling free to send actual propaganda sheet to a letter box near you

Danson Park leafletParty political leaflets are always good for a giggle, they tend to show the populace how politicians see themselves and allow the populace an insight into cloud cuckoo land. The one recently distributed in Danson Park is a case in point. Pride of place goes to the three Conservative ward councillors, John Waters, Linda Bailey and Sharon Massey.

Waters is a business man and on the council because it provides business opportunities. He has contrived that lots of public money is directed towards his family business and there is nothing illegal about that, but don’t kid yourself that he is there for your benefit.

Bailey is a rather more sinister character, famed for her claim that as a councillor she can “do what I like” and her ability to lash out physically at residents while doing what she likes. Mrs. Massey is pretty much a non-entity, on the council to boost the family finances but with a high opinion of herself. Her husband Don is the man who decided the 2,219 signature petition calling for a curb on the 6th highest local authority salary package in the country should be binned rather than debated. Now they have the cheek to remind Danson Park residents that Bexley has a “Listening Council’. That is far from the only lie being poked through more letter boxes than councillor Melvin Seymour could ever imagine.

Conservative propagandaAlways ready to put the boot into the opposition the Danson Conservatives make dubious claims throughout the leaflet.

I do believe the Labour Party put forward an alternative plan for cutting costs before the 2011 budget vote and when the 52:11 voting statistics took their toll went into an ill advised sulk and voted against the Conservative alternative. As I recall they didn’t vote for increased council tax, the government grant conditions effectively prevented that, but for a different set of cuts. Inevitably the Conservatives will imply otherwise.

What Labour didn’t do is propose increasing car park charges, that honour went to Peter Craske who pushed that through along with tripling the price of a Residents’ Parking Permit. I have been to all the relevant meetings in the past two years and only heard the Labour councillors pointing out the obvious. That the increased and 24/7 charging regime is hitting business in the borough and had reduced council revenues. Both Labour leader Chris Ball and councillor Munir Malik have made their views on Craske’s madness very clear.

Neither did the Labour party oppose modernisation of the council - I am assuming here that the Tory leaflet is referring to the new offices. The Labour line was to modernise even more with purpose built premises rather than refurbishing the derelict Woolwich Building Society HQ. Labour’s preference would have cost about 20% more but according to council officers would provide a 50% longer life. Those officers also said the cheapest option was to rebuild on the existing site so if the Tories were really keen on saving money they should have done that. But that would have spoiled their secret deal with Tesco. So secret that the public was slung out of the meeting when it was due to be discussed. Since then Bexley has become Tesco Town. With those in the pipeline and the Express rumoured for Sidcup, I think that makes ten.

More about that Danson Park leaflet another day.


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