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

 

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.

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.

A Budget for Bexley. A budget in surplus, investing more in local services.

Bexley’s Conservative administration has published its draft budget proposals for 2018/19.

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It is a budget that is, again, in surplus and which, again, invests in local services for local people.

Speaking about the proposals, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of Bexley’s Conservative Council, said:

“We have worked hard to ensure taxpayers get excellent value for money and I am pleased that our services are well regarded by residents and that many are rated as among the best in London or the country. We set out our strategy in 2014 to address the massive financial challenge facing every single Council in the UK. 

We said if we implemented our strategy quickly and efficiently we would keep the budget balanced and be able to invest in our services. That is what we have done.”

The Cabinet noted that the move to the new Civic Offices in 2014 has reduced running costs by £2m and that rather than cutting services as other Councils rushed to do, this Conservative administration had found ways of generating new income or making services more efficient.

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The budget notes that children’s services are being transformed with positive and innovative ideas helping those in need. It was also reported that by recruiting more full-time staff the workforce in children’s services team now only has 11% who are temporary, compared to 70% in 2013.

Cllr Sawyer noted that the change to using modern LED street lights was on course to generate £300,000 in reduced running costs, and that car park charges across Bexley will not be increasing at all in 2018/19 – a major boost for Bexley’s town centres.

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Car park charges will not increase in 2018/19 across Bexley – good news for businesses and shoppers!

It was also announced that a pilot scheme of using dog patrols to provide reassurance and security in parks and open spaces was being made a permanent service, operating seven nights a week. The opening of the Post Office in Crayford’s library had led to an 87% year on year increase in the library’s footfall too.

New figures were released showing that 10,000 visitors had been to see an exhibition at Hall Place in three weeks – an exhibition only possible to stage after Conservative Councillors approved funding for it, funding which Labour Councillors “slammed.”

The importance of the Borough’s Growth Strategy to the Council’s long term budget plans was stressed by Cllr Linda Bailey.

Not a single Labour Councillor made any comment on the budget proposals. Indeed the Cabinet was reminded that in 2014, Labour supporter had stated that if we implemented our strategy there would be a financial black hole in the Council budget by 2018 of £50million!! 

After the meeting a spokesperson for Bexley’s Conservative Councillors commented:

“Labour claimed our plans would create a £50m black hole in the budget – but as we pledged would happen in 2014, the budget is not just balanced but in surplus. Will they accept they were wrong and welcome all the new investment taking place across the Council’s services?”

The Budget plans will now be subject to consultation over the next four weeks before the Cabinet make their final recommendations at the end of February.

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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.”

New locations for Bexley’s polling stations agreed by Councillors.

Changes to locations of the Borough’s polling stations were formally agreed on Tuesday 28th November 2017 by the Council’s General Purposes Committee.

This completes the changes needed to deliver our 2014 manifesto pledge to reduce the number of Councillors in Bexley.
Because wards have changed in terms of both size and the boundaries they cover, the location of polling stations needs to be amended to reflect that.
The review has taken place over recent months by the Council’s election team, with residents and Councillors all having several opportunities to comment or propose alternative ideas.
Chairman of the General Purposes Committee, Cllr Cafer Munur, said:
“This represents an enormous amount of work by Council staff, ensuring that while residents will be electing 30% fewer Councillors next year, they are still able to vote as simply as always.”
The report agreed by Councillors at the meeting can be read here
Bexley’s Conservative Councillors were all elected on a manifesto commitment to reduce the number of Councillors, and this review – carried out by the independent Local Government Boundary Commission – has delivered a 30% reduction. In May 2018 residents will only be electing 45 councillors.
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Bexley’s Councillors are the only ones in the entire country to have proposed a reduction in their number and the only ones to have delivered such a commitment.
A Bexley Conservatives spokesperson commented:
“This delivers our 2014 election manifesto pledges in full. 
It is simply wrong for Councillors to have to make savings across the Council while not being affected themselves, that is why we made the commitment and that is why we have kept our word, as we always do. 
Cutting our own number follows our decisions to freeze Councillors allowances for over eight years – representing a 21% real terms cut.”

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 

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.”