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Council turns back to traders?

PUBLISHED: 15:10 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 25 August 2010

TRADERS who shunned a £1.3 million revamp still want their council to spend thousands on their village.

TRADERS who shunned a £1.3 million revamp still want their council to spend thousands on their village.

Bexley council reversed a motion to spend £600,000 renovating Belvedere Village at its full meeting last Wednesday.

Belvedere traders and residents voted overwhelmingly against a council plan to renovate the village with money from Transport for London (TfL) in October.

But now they say they still want basic improvements including a zebra crossing, street lighting and CCTV.

Belvedere councillor Daniel Francis supported claims in a motion that "residents and traders were in favour of a number of aspects within the scheme".

Yet his amended motion made no promise to improve the area, nor any mention of the failure to reach an agreement.

Mike Sales, a committee member for Belvedere Residents and Traders Association, said: "I'm not surprised. There is a bit of face-saving and perhaps even an element of spite now.

"The police have told us Belvedere has one of the worst records of youth related drinking in the borough. CCTV is essential for our members."

Bexley council's amended motion concluded: "It is clear people in the area did not support this scheme and we respect their decision."

Mr Francis said councillors should have just voted against the motion rather than distort it.

He added: "You should be able to fund town centre improvement schemes without TfL's help. It's happened before in Sidcup when TfL-funded plans fell through."

A spokesman for the council said: "Local traders spent months opposing the scheme and demanding the council listen to local people.

"Now we have listened, they are demanding we ignore local people and impose the scheme on them. They can't have it both ways."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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