Despite objections from the Copers Cope Residents’ Association, West Beckenham Residents’ Association, the Beckenham Business Association, The Beckenham Society, 80 direct objections from residents and a petition of over 700 local residents, 7 out of 8 Bromley Council Executives (including one from Beckenham) voted to close the Beckenham public toilets and offer the building for sale or demolish it.
At the same meeting the Council agreed to increase Council Tax by 1.2% (£16 a year for a Band D property). The Council could have increased Council Tax by up to 2% to avoid some of the £11.6 million of cuts planned. Local people have told us they would be happy to pay increased Council Tax to retain basic services, such as public toilets.
Our members have highlighted the following areas affected by budget cuts, no doubt there are many more affecting Borough residents.
- Bromley Museum to be relocated and its existing medieval Grade II* listed building, The Priory in Orpington, to be sold (this plan has now been shelved for 3 months).
- Bromley Youth Music Trust, to receive no funding from the Council from April 2015.
- Kentwood Adult Education Centre in Penge to cease providing adult courses.
- Bromley Parks and Greenspace services to be completely outsourced.
- The Council plan to create six community-managed libraries (direct Library funding presumably to be cut).
The Council also plan to increase parking charges.
London councils are able to increase Council Tax by up to 2% each year. Should Bromley Council be increasing Council Tax at 2% to retain services local people want and are willing to pay for? If you think so contact your local Councillors. We have checked back and note that the Council applied the following increases to Council Tax over the last 4 years; 2011/12 =0%, 2012/13 = 0%, 2013/14 1.89%, 2014/15 = 0%.
Services have been cut over this period and many more to come to balance the books.
Bromley Council will vote on the final budget at a full Council Meeting, 7pm February 23 2015, Bromley Civic Centre, Bromley BR1 3UH. The News Shopper advises local residents will be lobbying the meeting to protest against the cuts and call for the budget to be rejected. More information can be found below.