Budget for Bexley’s future approved, millions of investment across the Borough over next four years

Councillors have approved the Conservative administration’s Budget For Bexley, a budget which delivers on the mandate given by Bexley’s residents last May for our positive vision and ambition for our Borough.

The budget was approved by Councillors on 6th March and sets out a clear strategy for the next four years.

The Conservative budget delivers millions of pounds of investment across the whole of Bexley including funding for the new Library for Thamesmead, an increase in funding to adult social care of £3.9m and more funding for children with special educational needs.

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

“Last May Bexley’s residents entrusted us for a fourth term with running our great Borough. Our Budget for Bexley delivers on that trust, setting a clear strategy for the next four years.

While other Councils, especially our neighbouring Labour Councils, continue to slash services and cut budgets, we’re just quietly getting on with delivering high quality services for our residents, exactly as they want us to do.”

Conservative Councillors highlighted many aspects of the Budget during the debate including the new funding for helping children with special needs, the millions of funding for the Borough’s “Outstanding” Children’s Services Department, work to tackle loneliness and help those with dementia, the additional funding for adult social care and the changes planned to increase recycling rates and address residents concerns about the outdated boxes which can not accommodate the much larger amount of materials that can be recycled in 2019.

After 113 days of silence, Labour Cllrs suddenly produced their own alternative budget, which filled just half a page of A4 paper and which called on the Council to spend £1.5m more on housing but without saying how the money should be spent.

 

Side by side, Bexley Conservatives Budget proposals, and the budget proposals from Labour Councillors

Cllr Louie French, Deputy Leader of London Borough of Bexley, said:

“Leadership requires taking tough decisions and using limited resources in the most effective way for the benefit of local people.
The pressures around housing are recognised by everyone. However, you cannot just throw money at problems. Investments must be made strategically and that is what we are doing in our budget to help deliver new homes for local people.
We want Bexley to remain a sustainable borough and a great place to call home. Our growth strategy sets out how we plan to do that over the next 30 years.”

But their own alternative proposals were overshadowed by an extraordinary attack on the many residents in Bexley who volunteer – with Belvedere Labour Councillor, David Putson, shocking the Council chamber by labelling them “cheapskates”!

Following the rejection of their proposal by Conservative and Independent Councillors, Labour Cllrs then voted against all the main budget proposals, including voting against £7MILLION of help for people with disabilities, £5MILLION to address homelessness and even voting against the new library for Thamesmead.

The Labour Councillors for Thamesmead actually voted against the funding for the community’s new library!

By law, the vote by Councillors on the Budget are stated publicly and recorded so residents can see how their own ward councillors voted on the most important decision of any year. Full details will be published soon.

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