Bexley Council are running a consultation until Sunday 14th September on residents’ views of their further budget cuts.
This gives us one more week to make our views known on potential impacts on parks, open spaces and wildlife … and of course on other issues too.
The Council’s premise is that even more cuts have to be made and that the Council Tax cannot go up by more than two percent. The 2% limit is self imposed, it is not mandatory. Unfortunately, they don’t give those of us who are prepared to pay more Council Tax for the opportunity to have protected services the opportunity to say so.
The Council have this time provided an online opportunity to tinker with the budgets as a way of indicating preferences over cuts and alternative ways of increasing council income. This is quite impressive and they are to be applauded for doing so. The cynics among us might suggest it is a response to the scorn heaped on them after they claimed huge support for the last round of budget cuts on the basis of a very low level of response.
On the assumption that they will take notice of the input or the fact that if they don’t then it will be obvious they are ignoring the community – we would urge you to complete the survey.
You will be astonished by the size of some of the budgets. doing the survey will take 5-8 minutes of your time unless, like me, you found it an interesting exercise and get a bit carried away!
Suggestions for areas to make adjustments.
Leisure and Cultural Services.
Recreation, culture and local heritage.
“This budget covers the cost of indoor and outdoor leisure services, including bexley’s three leisure centres, plus parks, open spaces and allotments, archives, heritage, community centres and sports development”.
Unfortunately, this budget is not broken down to its constituent elements, but I favoured an increase in the hope that it would mean more money for the parks and open spaces.
Caring for the environment and keeping people safe.
Waste and Recycling
This is the bins and recycling centres. I increased the budget here to encourage recycling and a reduction in incineration of valuable waste resources.
Supporting and Controlling Development.
Our interest is more in the controlling side, the Council doesn’t seem to need any more help in paving over the Borough’s open spaces! Perhaps the main one to look at is
“Funds are provided for the protection or improvement of the natural environment”.
How much is this budget you ask? £39,000! I bunged it up to the maximum the site would let me – an additional £11,000.
Keeping Bexley Moving.
Keeping Bexley Moving
Your chance to reduce the budget for ‘maintaining the right transport infrastructure’ i.e. building more roads.
A chance to reduce the budget which should lead to better consideration of the amount of lighting the Council supports. Perhaps they might then reduce the amount of unneccesary lighting reducing energy wastage, light pollution and the ill health benefits that come from street lighting disprupting sleep patterns.
We would urge you to make your contribution to the discussion. The likelihood is that few people will, so our views will potentially have some influence.
The Council give a guide to the process at:
The survey is at: http://youchoose.esd.org.uk/bexley