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Bexley cabinet meeting amid final stages of budget-making process

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:36 08 February 2018

Bexley Cllr Don Massey. Picture: Archant

Bexley Cllr Don Massey. Picture: Archant

Archant

Bexley’s cabinet reviewed the success of the council’s medium term financial strategy and continuing economic challenges at a meeting on January 29.

Bexley’s cabinet reviewed the success of the council’s medium term financial strategy and continuing economic challenges at a meeting on January 29.

The council’s annual budget-making process is entering its final stages, leading up to the approval of the budget and council tax for 2018/19 on March 7.

Council leader Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE said: “Our focus is on living within our means and making sure we use the money we have to deliver the maximum benefit for the borough and our residents.

“People know that the economy is going through a challenging period, but we will continue to show that we can do a lot of good with the money we have.

“We are also continuing to plan carefully for the future and ensure we put money aside to cope with the unexpected.”

The gradual withdrawal of government grant means that Bexley must be financially self-sufficient from 2020/21.

Like many other councils, Bexley faces significant spending pressures, including the cost of homelessness, together with increased demand for adults’ and children’s services.

Since 2011, Bexley has achieved considerable success in finding new and better ways to deliver services, such as developing a new model of care for people with learning disabilities; forming a closer partnership to deliver better outcomes for vulnerable children; the creation of Belvedere Beach with external funding; new community libraries and continued savings resulting from the council’s move to new offices.

Becoming self-sufficient is now central to the council’s financial planning.

Work continues to generate income through commercial activities, improve the way services are commissioned, intervene early to prevent care needs escalating, promote economic growth and work strategically with a growing range of public and private partners.

Cllr Don Massey, desputy leader of the council, said: “We focus on improving the things we can control and I’m proud of what we’veachieved both in balancing the budget and improving services.

“We’ve gained a great reputation for managing our budget, attracting inward investment, innovating and woking with others to improve the borough - and that’s what we plan to keep doing.”

You can view a webcast of the cabinet’s discussion and access the budget papers online, at http://bexley.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

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