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A positive and optimistic future for our brilliant Bexley – Conservative administration publishes vision for the Bexley

Bexley’s Conservative administration has published its vision for the Borough for the next decade.
The new Corporate Plan, agreed by Bexley’s Cabinet, sets out the plans Conservative Councillors have to shape the future of the Borough, building on the achievements of the last decade.
A series of themes reflect the ambitions for Bexley along with specific measurements to show progress on those plans.
Commenting, Leader of Bexley’s Conservative Council, Teresa O’Neill OBE, said: “We have always had very positive and optimistic vision for our Borough and this new strategy sets out our plans for the years ahead.
Like every local council, we have been through a difficult financial period, but because we set a clear strategy for dealing with it, we are emerging in a strong position, ready to make our Borough even better!”

Based around a set of themes, the new plan focuses on:
+ Growth that benefits all

+ Clean and green local places

+ Strong and resilient communities and families

+ Living Well

+ Innovation and self sufficiency 

http://democracy.bexley.gov.uk/documents/s80482/Item%204-2%20Corporate%20Plan.pdf 

The plan will be published in full on the Council website, along with every individual plan tracked and progress reported for everyone to see.

A Conservative spokesperson added:
“Bexley is officially one of the happiest places in the country, with low crime, successful schools and where our Council is independently judged to offer value for money and for being effective and efficient. 

None of those things are accidents but because of hard work by Conservative Councillors working hard for the Boroughs’ residents all year round.”

How to age well in Bexley – a new strategy to be developed to create more opportunities.

Bexley’s Conservative Councillors are to develop a strategy for ageing well.

Over 40,000 people in Bexley are aged over 65, representing 17% of the total population. 

The strategy seeks to develop opportunities to provide help and options for ageing residents in the coming years.

Partners including Age UK, Mind, Crossroads Care and Alzheimer’s Society will all play a role in developing the strategy.

Read the draft strategy:

http://democracy.bexley.gov.uk/documents/s80484/Item%205-2%20Developing%20an%20Ageing%20Well%20Strategy.pdf 

£150,000 investment by Bexley’s Conservative Councillors to “deep clean” roads.

Following the announcements in July (https://bexleyconservatives.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/bexley-budget-investment/) Bexley’s Conservative Councillors have published the list of ‘hard to clean’ roads that will benefit from £150,000 of investment.

The roads are ones where, because cars park on either side, are hard to give a thorough clean. 

Under the programme which starts this week and runs until November, parking restrictions will be introduced so one side of the road can be given a thorough deep clean on one day, and then the next day the other side of the road will be cleaned. It will also allow carriageway repairs or gully clearances to be undertaken.

Cllr Peter Craske, the Cabinet Member who announced the investment at the July Cabinet meeting, said:

“These roads need a really thorough clean, and because we have kept a strong grip on our finances, we are now able to invest the money to do this. So many residents have contacted me welcoming this news when I announced it July, along with a range of additional investment totalling £1m. 

These extra resources will see litter bins in parks replaced with ones double the size, fencing and railing across our parks and open spaces repaired and a new literary festival to promote our amazing libraries.”

The roads to benefit from this deep cleaning investment are:


The extra investment, along with the increase in resources for a range of services in this year’s budget have been welcomed by residents across Bexley. 

Conservative Councillors have been going door to door across the whole Borough talking to residents about our plans to make the Borough cleaner and greener.


In March, Labour Councillors voted against our budget and against the additional resources for key services.

Bexley – the Borough built on happiness

The annual Office for National Statistics personal well being survey has been published – and once again it shows 75% of Bexley residents have great life satisfaction and are happy!

In fact, the survey also reveals that 8/10 residents think life is worthwhile and that Bexley residents have some of the lowest anxiety rates too.

This is the fourth official and independent survey to show Bexley is one of the happiest place to live in, and is the 5th year in a row where the ONS shows that happiness level have increased.


This reflects all the positive news that has been seen across Bexley since 2014.

A range of new businesses have opened across the Borough, there are low levels of crime, new hospital facilities have opened at Queen Mary’s, a new community centre for Slade Green, the faltering bridge repaired and improved in Bexley Village, a brand new playground in Belvedere, a new visitors centre at Lesnes Abbey, local schools rated as among the best in the UK, new street lights and more investment in key council services are just some of the many improvements and achievements delivered for residents by your local Conservative Council.

The ONS report shows the personal well being ratings for Bexley:

Life Satisfaction                                             7.5/10

Life is worthwhile                                         7.8/10

Happiness                                                       7.5/10

Anxiety                                                             3.2/10

This report follows the publication of an independent Audit of Council services, which concludes Bexley’s Conservative Council provides value for money for residents, being efficient and effective.

A Bexley Conservatives Spokesperson commented:

“There are so many positive things going on across our Borough, with council services being well received and rated as efficient and effective, it is great to see this reflected by the residents of our Borough having such high levels of life satisfaction and feeling life in Bexley is worthwhile. With Bexley Conservatives, our Borough will always be built on happiness.”

 

Taxpayers Benefit From Bexley’s Biggest Recycling Project.

Bexley’s taxpayers are seeing an annual saving of over £2m following the move by the London Borough of Bexley into the Civic Offices at 2 Watling Street – far more than envisaged in the plans.

The “Bexley First” project saw the disposal or renting out of the four previous Civic buildings, and the relocation of all council staff onto the new site at no cost at all to taxpayers.

Now the reductions in running costs are delivering annual savings DOUBLE to what was initially planned.

It also helped bring a famous Bexley site back to life, as the building was the former home of the Woolwich Building Society.

Prior to the move into Watling Street in 2014 the Council was split across four buildings, with departments split across those sites too. As well as the costs of maintaining four aging buildings, it wasted a lot of money and time with staff having to move back and forth between offices.

Leader of Bexley Conservatives, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, said: “This was rightly described as Bexley’s biggest ever recycling projects, bringing back into life a well-known Bexley landmark as well as creating a new home for the Council.

Instead of staff being split across four different buildings, spread across the Borough, we all work together as a strong team.”

The project was completed a no cost to taxpayers at all, with the costs being funded from the disposal or renting out of the former sites. Alongside this, the project has led to the creation of hundreds of new homes across the Borough, including behind the Civic Offices.

The project was – of course – opposed by Labour Councillors, who voted against reducing the Council’s running costs.

Instead they demanded a brand new building be created from scratch, with no new housing provided. The cost of their proposed new building was £25million!

Labour cited Newham as a shining example for the Conservative administration to follow.

That Labour Borough undertook what was supposed to be the same plan as Bexley but instead of costing their taxpayers nothing, it ended up costing them £111m!

Newham spent £97million buying the building, and a further £18.7million refurbishing it – including having five light bulbs fitted which cost £1800 each.

A Bexley Conservatives spokesperson said: “Only a Labour Council would turn a project which was supposed to not cost taxpayers anything into a project that wasted £111million! And here in Bexley, Labour were telling us we should be spending £25million instead of saving taxpayers £2m a year.

It is the same story everywhere – Labour waste the public’s money, Conservatives save the public money.”

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Bexley’s Civic Offices save taxpayers £2m a year and were opened by Boris Johnson when Mayor of London. 

Coming this winter – 200 new street trees!

This winter, Bexley’s Conservative Council will launch a new street tree planting programme.

200 new trees will be planted on residential roads across the Borough – and from winter 2018, the number of new trees planted will double to 400 a year, every year.

The new street trees planting programme is part of the Bexley Conservative budget that is ploughing substantial resources into making Bexley even cleaner and greener.

However, as every Labour Councillor voted against the new street tree planting programme, this policy is at risk.

A Bexley Conservatives spokesperson said:

“This street tree planting programme has been welcomed by residents across Bexley, and we cannot wait to get planting. But every one of Bexley’s Labour Councillors voted against planting new trees.”

Labour Councillors did not just vote against the budget, their supporters actually turned up to the Budget Council meeting waving placards to protest about planting new trees!

The spokesperson added:

“This means there is a very clear choice for Bexley’s residents in May 2018 when they decide who will run their Council for the following four years. A choice between a Conservative Council that will be planting hundreds of new trees every year, or one run by Labour Councillors who would stop the programme completely.

Bexley’s Conservative Councillors are implementing a series of policies to make our Borough cleaner and greener and plant hundreds of new trees, all opposed by Labour Councillors who seem to think the only point of trees is to rip them down and turn into placards.”

cold-snow-black-and-white-road
Bexley faces bleak mid-winters if Labour Councillors win control of our Council as they voted against planting new street trees.

 

The Beach has come to Belvedere

A new and innovative playground at the heart of Belvedere has opened!

The Belvedere Beach is a new playground which is accessible to all, with features for children with disabilities and special needs.

The fantastic opening day saw children queuing with their families around the block as the midday opening drew closer.

Prior to that, a special event organised for children nominated by their school, children supported by local charities and winners of a competiton joined the Mayor of Bexley for the formal ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Belvedere Beach project has been conceived and delivered by Bexley’s Conservative administration, and the final go-ahead was made by the Cabinet last November.

Speaking on the opening day, Cllr Peter Craske, who led the project, said: “18 months ago this was just an idea on a piece of paper and now it is here. The look of joy and excitement on the faces of the hundreds of children who came rushing in was amazing to witness. I am so proud to have created this unique playground.”

Work to build the site started in March and was completed in time to open for school holidays.

IMG_0837
The playground during construction
A Bexley Conservatives spokesperson added: “Labour created a Splash Park that only operated for three months a year, and was always breaking down, so was actually open even less than that. It cost a fortune to operate, and no initial budget was set aside to pay for it.

We have created a playground that is open all year round, where families can spend time together at any time of the year. It is also financed properly with a kiosk operating all year round as well which will fund the running costs.”

Over a dozen Conservative Councillors from across the Borough supported the opening day, all enjoying the sight of young people enjoying themselves on the beach.

 

Huge investment in local services unveiled by Bexley’s Conservative Councillors

With substantial investments for highways and public realm, your Conservatives have unveiled a new mid-budget programme to make Bexley look even better.

The Bexley Conservative Council’s Cabinet have unveiled a surprise package of enhancements to improve the look of the Borough at their meeting on 11th July.

The additional monies will enable the current highways maintenance programme to be doubled.

New new litter bins, additional grass cuts, and refurbishments for railing and fencing at parks will also be taking place in the coming months.

The funding will also enable much needed improvements at Hall Place to be carried out, just three months after the historic site returned to being run by the Council, as well as programmes to promote libraries and stage community events.

The Cabinet also confirmed that plans that had been considered for changing waste collections and reducing street cleaning cycles have been permanently ended.

Bexley’s Conservative Councillors and MPs work as a team for residents

Cllr Don Massey, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, said: “We have delivered the strategy endorsed by residents at the ballot box, and because of that we have a strong budget that has delivered a surplus. This means we are able to increase the resources for core council services. Only by managing our budget well and in line with our principles has this been possible.”

Leader of Bexley Conservatives, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, said: “We have worked hard to deliver our strategy. We always said that if we stick to our plan we would emerge from the financial challenges far more strongly than other Councils, and we have done that. Having delivered as promised, we can now invest in our frontline services, improving highways and parks, and making our Borough cleaner and greener.”

In March, the Conservatives Council budget increased resources for cleaning town centres, protected street cleaning work, created a new budget for planting street trees and to introduce a new street cleaning machine.
EVERY Labour Councillor voted AGAINST these plans.

New agreement clears way for number 96 to run to Darent Valley Hospital.

Residents living in the London Borough of Bexley look set to be able to travel by bus direct to Darent Valley Hospital after the Conservative run Bexley Council successfully lobbied Transport for London and Kent County Council to enable the number 96 bus route to use a section of the Fastrack bus Lane between Dartford and Bluewater.

The agreement means that the number 96 bus will be able to serve Darent Valley Hospital, which is used by patients from Bexley.

The announcement comes at the start of National Catch The Bus Week (3 July 2017) and the Conservative Leader of Bexley Council, Councillor Teresa O’Neil OBE, said:

“This is fantastic news for Bexley’s residents and a great way to celebrate National Catch The Bus Week.

Conservatives in Bexley have campaigned hard for the number 96 to stop at Darent Valley Hospital and this agreement paves the way for this to happen.”

Discussions will now take place with the bus operator Stagecoach and the Council will be working to secure a service to the Hospital as soon as possible.

Cllr O’Neill added: “Thousands of people from Bexley rely on using services at the Hospital but patients and their families have had difficulties travelling there without a direct bus service. The introduction of a direct service to the Hospital will be welcomed.”

Re-elected Conservative MPs meet with Council Leader

The Leader of Bexley’s Conservative Council has met with the returned Conservative MPs for Old Bexley and Sidcup and Bexleyheath and Crayford.

Cllr Teresa O’Neill, OBE, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP and Rt Hon David Evennett MP discussed a range of issues, including some of the successful achievements that were highlighted during the General Election.

These included unemployment being at its lowest rate for over 40 years and the support from residents for the recent Council budget increases for cutting grass, cleaning streets and improving roads and pavements. There was praise for the emergency services for their swift action in dealing with the terrorist attack at London Bridge.

During the meeting, there was a discussion about the horrific fire in Kensington, and Cllr O’Neill was able to set out some of the action taken by the Council to confirm with the Borough’s housing associations that all the appropriate risk assessments and fire safety checks were in place.

It was also noted that London Borough of Bexley staff had been providing help and support to the local council as they dealt with the many consequences of the awful incident.