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Bonkers Blog January 2019

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30 January - What do residents think of the coming cuts and stealth taxes?

Visitors to Bexley’s Civic Offices on Wednesday evening were treated to a heavyweight surprise. A 430 page summary of the comments made to the recent Budget Consultation. I feel a bit guilty about taking half a ream of A4 but I can promise it will go into the recycling.

Several thousands of comments have been published and if Bexley Council ignores the majority I don’t think they could reasonably be blamed.

Quite a lot of Bexley residents are angry, ill-informed, financially illiterate, irrational and have an undying belief in the Eternal Money Tree.

“Robbing Tories, penalising the needy, disgusting, taking advantage of the weak, Care Services must be paid by the Council, hitting the disabled, reduce Council Leader’s allowance, outrageous.

On moving to a three weekly refuse collection: the worst idea anyone has ever had, four wheelie bins is excessive, rubbish collectors are lazy buggers, if it is not broken, don’t fix it.

Stop wasting money on silly road projects. Cut Councillors’ allowances. Easy.

Too many Councillors per ward!”

You have to wonder where some of these residents have been hiding in recent years. Bexley is probably close to unique in cutting Councillor numbers who may get the smallest allowances in London. If not it will be close.

If I were to be critical it would be because as Bexley strives to avoid the financial disaster towards which some Councils appear to be heading I cannot help but ask “why the hell did you not make the proposed efficiency savings ten or twelve years ago after Labour bequeathed you such a massive increase in tax income? Were you simply complacent and living off the fat they had endowed you?”

If the Council had recognised the looming problems earlier Bexley might not now have a tax rate higher than all but seven London boroughs. But we are where we are and we must hope that Bexley Tories do not take their eyes off the ball again.


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