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Elected on 3rd May, back to work on the 4th.

Elected on 3rd May, back to work on the 4th.

Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, explains what has been happening across the Council and the Borough since this year’s election.

“Thank you for your support. We were all honoured to have been given such a decisive mandate from residents in May’s election.

While many Councils have just cut services year after year, our strategy has always been to take a long term approach to transform services, invest in prevention work which helps avoid future costs and anticipate future need. It has been a strategy that has delivered tangible results and success.

The fact we have the best recycling rates in London shows that in action. A major investment a decade ago has increased recycling to record rates and saved millions of pounds too by avoiding the need to pay huge land fill charges.

We’ve all been working flat out since May’s election to implement our manifesto and set out priorities.

Our positive campaign and strong record of delivery year after year received a huge endorsement – we were re-elected with 55% of the vote, increased our vote share by 12% and we were elected to represent over 75% of the seats.

We also now have 30% fewer Councillors, having delivered our 2014 pledge to reduce our numbers – in fact we are the only group of Councillors in the country to voluntarily propose to cut our numbers and we have delivered that exactly as promised.

We have welcomed newly elected Councillors and I am proud to have been re-elected to serve as Leader of the Council.

And we haven’t stopped working since the election.

We are already delivering on our election manifesto and we have seen some stunning achievements.

Firstly, in July Ofsted suddenly announced they were coming to inspect our Children’s Services Department. With little notice our staff went above and beyond to prepare for and then undergo this rigorous and independent inspection.

Cllr Philip Read, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services was interviewed by the inspectors and was able to talk through all the improvements and investment that had been made over the previous four years.

And at the end of it, Ofsted declared that the Bexley Children’s Services were “outstanding” – the highest rating possible!

Everyone of us is so proud of this achievement and the hard work and commitment that went into this rating.

While the Mayor of London has announced a delay in the opening of the new Crossrail our manifesto pledge to push for Crossrail to be extending to Ebbsfleet remains on track.

This follows the announcement by the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission that they fully recommended the Government implement this proposed extension.

This news was followed with the announcement that London City Airport we’re behind the scheme too.

And we have secured an agreement with BT Openreach to roll out super fast broadband to over 10,000 homes in Bexley with more to come.

Alongside this, Lesnes Abbey and Hall Place have won international awards, which means they are two of the best parks on the entire planet. Lesnes Abbey has also won the Forestry Commission London Borough Tree and Woodland Award. We’ve also been able to secure a new cinema for Sidcup and embarked on major improvements at Erith station.

Our manifesto commitment to make the trial litter enforcement service a permanent fixture was delivered in June.

Our zero tolerance policy for those who mess up Bexley by dropping litter or flytipping has led to over 7,000 fines being issued and the seizure and crushing of vehicles involved in illegal dumping of waste. And we have purchased more street trees ready to plant this winter, which means our commitment for 1,000 new street trees by 2020 is on course for delivery.

So we haven’t wasted a moment and we will continue repaying your trust in us to make the right decisions in the long term interests of the Borough for the next four years.”

Bexley voters elect Bexley Conservatives to run the Borough

Bexley Conservatives have been re-elected in a fourth landslide election victory – taking 34 of the 45 seats and 55% of all votes cast.

It means the Conservatives will run Bexley for another four years, having first won control of the Council in 2006.

Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of Bexley Conservatives, said:

“We are all honoured to have received such a decisive mandate from Bexley residents for a 4th time. It is great so many residents trust us to do a good job.

We set out a detailed range of policies in our manifesto, and we are already getting back to work to begin implementing them.

All of our candidates worked their socks off, never taking anything for granted, and we delivered a copies of our manifesto across the Borough.

We set out a clear agenda for what we would do over the next four years, and with such an emphatic endorsement from residents, we will deliver everything we pledged.”

Election results:

Conservatives      34 seats

Labour                   11 seats

Bexley’s Conservative Councillors approve a budget that invests more resources in council services – while Labour Councillors oppose EVERY Budget proposal.

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Bexley has an even brighter future following the decision by Conservative Councillors to approve the budget plans for 2018/19 at Budget Council on 7th March 2018.

The decision means there will be £32million of investment in education, a 15% increase in funding for adult social care over three years, a new library for Thamesmead, £1m for playgrounds, £9m for highways maintenance and £5m for more affordable homes.

Key services such as street cleaning, parks and open spaces, libraries and playgrounds will all see increases in budgets and a record £45milion is to be invested to tackle homelessness and provide more homes.

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

“We have worked hard since 2014 to deliver the financial strategy we set out in our election manifesto, and to increase investment across all Council services. We have an optimistic, positive vision for our Borough and this budget reflects that exactly.

Instead of just cutting services and closing things down like neighbouring Labour Councils we have made our services more efficient and effective. An independent audit of our Council shows we are rated as providing value for money in all we do.”

In the Budget Council meeting every Labour Councillor voted against every single proposal in the Budget – so while Conservatives increase investment and deliver new funding to help disabled children, adults with learning disabilities and the elderly, Labour Councillors are now on record as opposing all these things.

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A spokesperson for Bexley’s Conservative Councillors added: “It is astonishing that the so-called “caring” Labour Party actually voted against £45million to help the homeless, and voted against over £50million of funding for our Borough’s excellent schools.

Voters have a real choice in May – do they want a hard left Council opposing funding for the disabled and those who are homeless or a just right common sense Conservative council that quietly gets on with the job of making Bexley better.”

By law, all votes at Budget Council are publicly recorded so residents can clearly see how their own councillors voted at the most important meeting of the year.

How your Councillors voted on the key budget issues:

£32million for education and £24million for school expansion and new school places

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£2million to help residents with special educational needs

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£500,000 for a new library for Thamesmead

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£1millon for Bexley’s playgrounds

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£193,000 for flood risk management to keep homes and property safe

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£261,000 for the Borough’s allotments

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£9.4m for highways maintenance and street lighting

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£4m for the Disabled Facilities Grant

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£45m to invest in housing and tackle homelessness

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£5m to invest in new affordable homes

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

£19million for Erith regeneration

Conservatives                   FOR

Labour                               AGAINST

 

Bexley’s Borough police command unit scrapped by Labour Mayor of London

Sign our petition here

The Borough’s Police Command centre is being scrapped and merged with those of other London Boroughs under plans published by the Labour Mayor of London.

This means an end to Bexley residents having a Borough police force; from 19th March our police force will be merged with Lewisham and Greenwich.

This announcement shows that the now scrapped plan to close Bexley’s police station was never serious, it was just being used as a distraction to divert attention from this merger plan.

Bexley has already lost 43 police officers since the Mayor of London took office and this announcement could have a dramatic impact on police response times for victims of crime in Bexley.

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

“Bexley has been one of the safest places to live in London for year after year because we all work closely as a community to support our police force and the officers who serve us.

Instead of a police force operating in Bexley for Bexley we will now have to wait in line for responses to incidents elsewhere, especially given how much higher crime rates are in Greenwich and Lewisham.”

By stark contrast, in places like Kent, Sussex and Surrey their Conservative Police and Crime Commissioners are increasing police numbers and investing in police stations.

Under Labour in London, police stations are closing and police officers are being reduced.

This decision by the Labour Mayor of London puts Bexley’s hard won achievement as one of the safest places to live in London at risk.

In the pilot scheme trialled in Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge police response times dramatically increased.

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A spokesperson for Bexley’s Conservative Councillors said:

“We have already lost 43 police officers since the Labour Mayor took office.

We urge all residents to join us in opposing these plans. Bexley is one of the safest places to live in London and has been for many years.

The hard work to achieve this risks being undone with a stroke of a pen, taken in City Hall by a Labour Mayor who has no understanding of Bexley and what matters to the people who live here.”

Join our campaign – Say No to Khan’s Cop Cuts here

We are standing up for Bexley.

Going for Growth – a long-term strategy for making the Borough a great place to live and work is full steam ahead !

An ambitious and exciting strategy to ensure Bexley’s vitality for the next thirty years has been approved by Bexley’s Conservative Cabinet.
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The strategy seizes the initiative, and focuses on creating communities and places where people will want to live for generations and securing new businesses and new jobs.

The Growth Strategy has been developed over the last two years, and is supported by all political parties on the London Borough of Bexley. Many public meetings and roadshows were held to develop the strategy, giving many residents and businesses the opportunities to shape the final strategy.

Read the Strategy here.

Cllr Linda Bailey, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth, said:

“The new strategy sets out a long-term vision for Bexley and the principles which will underpin the growth we expect to see. If we rest on our laurels and do nothing then it won’t take long for our Borough to wither and go into decline or the growth to be ‘done unto us’ in a way that could be detrimental to Bexley residents.

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That is why we have to start work now, to ensure Bexley has a bright and prosperous future, where people want to live for years to come, and where businesses want to relocate or open up, creating jobs for everyone.”
New homes created behind the Civic Offices
Cllr Bailey added: “There are children starting school who will go into jobs that don’t even exist yet, and we want Bexley to be at the forefront of securing investment and opportunities for everyone who lives here.”

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.”

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.”

 

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.

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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.

 

Who supported a cleaner and greener Bexley – and who didn’t.

On Wednesday, 1st March, your Bexley Councillors made the biggest decision of the year – setting the Budget for 2017/18.

The budget was passed and will see £340million invested in providing local services for local people.

Libraries, cleaning streets, repairing roads, caring for adults and children in need of our help, keeping our community safe, schools, planting trees and many more services will be funded from £931,000 a day, and every household in the Borough receives double back in services than they pay in Council Tax.

After what has been a difficult time for local councils across the UK, Bexley’s Conservative administration has delivered what we promised in 2014 – to deal with the situation calmly and strategically and ensure we emerge from this period in a strong position.

While many Councils up and down the country are still slashing services, in Bexley, we have been praised by residents for getting on with the job.

Our budget proposals this year include a raft of new spending plans, to improve front line services.

Every Councillor’s vote on Wednesday night was “roll-called”, meaning every Councillor had to say whether they were FOR the budget proposals, AGAINST them, or whether they would ABSTAIN.

These are just some of the new key budget proposals put forward by your Conservative Councillors, and a note of how Councillors voted.

Waive burial preparation fees for all persons under 18.

VOTED FOR – ALL CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

VOTED AGAINST – ALL LABOUR COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

ABSTAINED – ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

Provide resources to ensure 6,000 vulnerable adults continue to receive the care they need.

VOTED FOR – ALL CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

VOTED AGAINST – ALL LABOUR COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

ABSTAINED – ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

Introducing a new budget to plant and maintain new trees across the Borough

VOTED FOR – ALL CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

VOTED AGAINST – ALL LABOUR COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

ABSTAINED – ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

Introduce a weekly deep clean for our main town centres for the first time ever

VOTED FOR – ALL CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

VOTED AGAINST – ALL LABOUR COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

ABSTAINED – ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

Increase budget for community safety by £135,000

VOTED FOR – ALL CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

VOTED AGAINST – ALL LABOUR COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

ABSTAINED – ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

Scrap previous plans to reduce cleaning of residential streets

VOTED FOR – ALL CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

VOTED AGAINST – ALL LABOUR COUNCILLORS, ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR

ABSTAINED – ONE UKIP COUNCILLOR



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