Bexley Council Tax to be below Inflation Again

Bexley’s Conservative administration have announced plans to increase Council tax by just 3% meaning for the second year running a below inflation increase for Bexley residents.

The Council tax plans come despite Bexley receiving the worst grant settlement in living memory from Gordon Brown’s Labour Government.

Bexley Council leader Cllr Ian Clement said he was “proud” to lead an administration that had delivered a below inflation increase in Council tax in consecutive years the first time this has happened in Bexley since the Council tax was introduced.

Contrasting this record with the 40% increase in Council tax during the 4 years that Labour ran Bexley, Cllr Clement added,

“Labour’s 40% increase in Council tax was cruel and hit pensioners and those on low incomes the hardest, Bexley Conservatives are committed to keeping Council tax as low as we can whilst improving services too”

The Budget will go to the Council for approval on 5th March.

NHS March in March

Bexley Council Leader Councillor Ian Clement and Bexley Conservatives are leading a March to protest against cuts in services at our local hospital Queen Mary’s Sidcup.

The march will take place Saturday 1st March at 10.30 am. The starting point will be The Crescent a green open space next to the Horse and Groom Harvester, Main Road, Sidcup. The march will then proceed to the hospital along Elm Road, finishing at the putting green next to Queen Mary’s Hospital.

Local MP David Evennett accompanied by the Leader of the London Borough of Bexley will hand into the hospital a copy of the petition signed by over 5000 people protesting against the closure of the Accident and Emergency Unit, the Maternity Unit and the closing of Children’s wards.

If you wish to join us in this peaceful protest please contact either Councillor Ian Clement at cllr.ian.clement@backboris.com or Councillor Sharon Massey on 01322 555446

We are working in co-operation with the police and we encourage all who wish to support this march to please park a good distance away from the meeting up point and please avoid parking in Morrisons car park. Preferably attend via public transport.

We expect the march to finish at approximately 11.15 am when we will disperse quickly and quietly.

Government denies local community money for station improvements!

Conservatives in the Erith and Thamesmead Parliamentary Constituency, led by Erith Councillor Bernard Clewes MBE and Belvedere Councillor David Leaf, have criticised the Government for refusing to provide a share of the £370 million available to improve access to rail stations serving the local community. The Access for All programme’s third tranche allocates funds between 2012 and 2015 to provide step free access at train stations to help disabled passengers as well as those with walking difficulties, pushchairs, in wheelchairs and with bulky luggage, but nothing has been allocated to local stations. Belvedere Councillor David Leaf, who had requested that local stations be added to the Access for All programme, said:

“This is a very disappointing result for the local community and the uncaring Labour Government has once again ignored the needs of this area. As a consequence of the Government’s refusal to earmark local train stations for access improvement, elderly and disabled passengers, as well as families with pushchairs, will continue to struggle to use the railways. We need to get more people using the trains and public transport, but yet again the Government are being very unhelpful.”

“In my correspondence with the Government on this issue the Department for Transport have recognised that access improvements along the Woolwich and Greenwich lines are required, but they are refusing to stump up any cash. While other parts of the country will benefit from the Access for All programme and funding, we will miss out.”

Erith Councillor Bernard Clewes MBE! added:

“Residents in wheelchairs find it impossible and those with pushchairs and walking difficulties find it a real struggle to access all of the platforms at local stations, especially Erith and Plumstead, where access is via a footbridge. We will continue the campaign and press the Government and Southeastern Trains to improve train station access.”

Bexley Conservatives Oppose plans to Downgrade Queen Mary’s

Conservative Councillors at a meeting attended by over three hundred Bexley residents voiced their anger that all three options in the Picture of Health Consultation would mean that no A&E or Maternity services would be provided at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup. The proposals drawn up by the medical directors of the four acute hospitals in Outer SE London would mean Bexley residents would be forced to travel to Bromley or Woolwich to receive services currently provided at Queen Mary’s.

Councillor Sharon Massey Bexley Council’s cabinet member for Health & Adult Social care warned the meeting the proposals to downgrade Queen Mary’s Hospital had no public support and challenged the NHS to explain why they could not recruit more Doctors instead of cutting vital services.

Councillors and members of the public were highly critical of the picture of Health consultation document and Councillor Massey told the meeting,

“Bexley Council are taking legal advice to see if this Consultation is even valid”.

The meeting was also attended by David Evennett MP who joined with the Councillors in opposing plans to cut services at Queen Mary’s.