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Labour anger as proposals for new budget shunned by Bexley council

PUBLISHED: 17:08 03 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:02 07 March 2016

Exterior Bexley Council offices.

Exterior Bexley Council offices.

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Council tax is set to rise by 3.99 per cent

Bexley Council last week finalised its plans for the coming year’s budget, as the council leader claimed the budget set out would “deliver growth in the local economy”.

A 3.99 per cent rise in council tax, including a two per cent levy to help support adult social care demand was agreed last week.

Council leader Teresa O’Neill said: “Our budget sets Bexley on course to deliver growth in the local economy, more infrastructure and invests in frontline children’s and adults services.

“Against a very challenging financial backdrop with grants from Government falling, we have delivered a balanced budget which saves millions of pounds and protects the services that the elderly, vulnerable and children rely on.

“Having kept council tax frozen for a number of years we have brought in modest council tax rises to invest in services that Bexley residents need and pay the people delivering those services more through the national living wage.

“55 per cent of the council’s spending is now on adults and children’s services and the work we are undertaking with the NHS and other partners is creating a joined up approach to improve services for residents.”

However, Bexley’s Labour councillors voted against the plans.

The Labour group proposed an amendment to the budget which amongst other suggestions, would have seen parking charges freeze.

Funds for the plans would have been sustained through elected members’ costs as well as paperless council meetings and putting the Bexley Magazine online.

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Alan Deadman, Leader of the Labour Group said:

“Local residents will be disappointed but not surprised to hear that Bexley Tories have again let residents bear the brunt of their cuts.

“Instead of supporting our proposals to freeze short-stay parking charges in the borough, the Tories have decided to increase them by 20 per cent.”

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