Bexley council has ended its Christmas break. Excepting the licensing
and planning committees whose work cannot reasonably be stopped for long, the
first significant public meeting of the year was held last night. Cabinet. Not
that they stressed themselves, it was all done and dusted in 20 minutes.
The subject was the budget proposals for the next four years. They have to go before the various Scrutiny Committees and the full council in May but there is no record of rebellion there so it is reasonably safe to forecast that plans put forward last night are what will be put into practice. In a word, cuts.
Cutting care services for adults. Two million next year, nearly three million in 2017. Children’s Services, similar. Leisure, £691,000 rising to one and a half million. Education, the grant for music withdrawn. Public Realm, cuts in Trading Services and air quality monitoring. The mayor has his/her allowance cut. You won’t see Sharon’s successor in the pubs and restaurants quite as often as she managed.
If you don’t like the look of it, then it’s your fault for not responding to the public consultation.
Most questions received just short of 300 responses from around 600 respondents in total, most in favour of the council’s proposals, but not always by much. 300, even 600 responses is pathetic don’t you think given the amount of advertising of the consultation that went on? The people in favour of the proposals cannot be very different from the number of Tory councillors plus their pals down the Conservative Association’s drinking den.
Democracy suffers and corruption flourishes when nobody cares what goes on.
Note: Summary blog and limited research because of lack internet connection. See Part 3.