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News and Comment March 2021

Index: 20202021

27 March - Making plans

There was an Agenda item on last week’s Resources and Growth Scrutiny Committee Agenda about the forthcoming Local Plan but as it is not due for publication until May with consultation to follow, little could be said about it.

The Chairman of the Planning Committee asked if he should take the plan into consideration immediately, before the Plan is published and consulted upon. He was told he should do from May in the same way as the previous London Plan was observed ‘prematurely’.

The Deputy Council Leader Louie French said he wanted to see full transparency on the matter with Councillors and the Chairman recommended briefings. Councillor Linda Bailey said there already had been meetings with good attendance levels.

And that was that, the next item being the plan to get Bexley’s businesses out of Covid restrictions after dishing out a total of £15,053,121 to support them as of a week ago. Most businesses in Bexley will soon get one-off payments of £2,700 or £4,000 dependent on rateable value to help them restart while some specific sectors will get more, up to £18,000. Hospitality, gyms etc.

The payments will be made automatically to eligible businesses.

Councillor O’Hare said none of the dry cleaners have received any help. They have been open for business but with people being locked up by Boris their trade has dried up. Councillor French said he was looking at how the scheme might be amended to help them and those in a similar situation. It was confirmed that dry cleaners will get a three month rates holiday.

Councillor Joe Ferreira (Labour, Erith) asked if the temporary pavement licences would be extended. Despite about ten minutes of chat from Council Officers no answer was forthcoming. Council Leader French called for flexibility. The Chairman noted that Councillor Ferreira’s question had not been answered but was told that the Council will try to be sensible about enforcement if businesses do the same. After more prevarication another Council officer said that some licences expire next month and others in September.

The Chairman said (15 minutes after the question was posed) “we got there in the end”.

 

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