Even more investment in council services unveiled – Cabinet sets out final Budget proposals building on success of last year’s work.

Bexley’s Conservative Cabinet has agreed its budget recommendations for 2018/19, which will now be debated at a meeting of all Councillors on 7th March.

The Budget sees funding increase across all services, including a 15% increase in funding for caring for vulnerable adults over the next three years, £38million for protecting vulnerable children and £7million allocated for traffic and transport projects.

Alongside this, budgets for maintaining parks and playgrounds, libraries and cleaning streets will increase substantially, helping ensure Bexley remains one of the cleanest and greenest Boroughs in London. There are no increases in car park charges.

The Budget calls for just a 1.9% increase in Council Tax.

Alongside this, there will be the Government’s mandatory 2% rise for adult social care.

Councillor Don Massey, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services said:

“In 2014, we stated clearly that if we implemented the financial strategy we set out then we would deal calmly with the largest change to local government funding in our lifetimes and emerge in a strong position.

That is exactly what we have done, and is why, while other Councils are still having to find savings we are increasing funding across services.

We have stuck to our long-standing commitment to only increase Council Tax when we need to, and by the lowest amount possible.”

Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of Bexley’s Conservative Council, commented:

“While there are still Councils struggling to balance their books, our successful long-term strategy means we are far ahead of other authorities and have a budget that is in surplus and which invests more funding in Council services.

It has taken a lot of hard work, for the second year in a row we are increasing resources and funding across the Council, to ensure we continue to deliver high quality services for the residents we serve.”

Last year, the Conservative administration launched a new street tree planting programme and purchased a new dep cleaning machine for our town centres – in addition, a further £1.1m was allocated to give key roads a deep clean, introduce larger litter bins in parks and open spaces and stage the Borough’s first ever Literary Festival.

Car parking charges are to be frozen under Conservative budget.

Alongside this a total of £4m was invested to keep our Borough’s highways in good shape.

A spokesperson for Bexley’s Conservative Councillors added:

“Don’t forget, Labour Councillors voted against all the budget increases we announced last year, even staging a protest opposing planting new street trees! They have opposed every single one of the value for money reviews that have seen services improve while costing less money.

Surely they will not vote against increasing funding for vulnerable adults by 15% or oppose increasing funding for cleaning our streets?”

Every single Councillor will have to vote FOR, AGAINST or ABSTAIN on the proposals at the Budget Council meeting on 7th March – by law, all votes must be publically recorded so all residents can see how their own Councillors voted on the different proposals.

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