Bromley Council Budget 2017-18

Residents' associations meeting 21 November - topics discussed

The purpose of the meeting was to engage representatives of residents’ associations across the borough in a public consultation process on priorities for the council’s budget for 2017/18 and beyond.

Following an introduction by Councillor Stephen Carr, Leader of the Council, about some of the issues and choices to be made around the council’s budget for 2017/18 and beyond, questions and issues were raised by the representatives of residents’ associations. These were responded to by the Leader and members of the council’s Executive. 

Topics covered included:

Resources 

  • Lobby Central Government to improve the funding allocation to the Local Authority.
  • Lobby Central Government to allow Council Tax to be increased above 2 percent without the need for a referendum.
  • Lobby Central Government to allow the 2 percent Social Care precept to be charged for a further year.
  • Increase income generation to move towards a more self-sufficient council.
  • Identify all reserves available to be released for capital investment.
  • Take a realistic approach to increasing Council Tax in future years to ensure sufficient funding is available for good quality services.
  • Continue to undertake enforcement measures for unpaid Council Tax.
  • Undertake more cross-working across council departments.
  • Continue to support the provision of Freedom Passes.

Sustainability and environment 

  • Protect conservation areas within the built environment.
  • Increase the number of conservation officers.
  • Re-launch the Local Authority’s recycling programme.
  • Develop a programme of resurfacing of side roads and pavements across the borough.
  • Consider reducing levels of street lighting by 20 to 30 percent where appropriate.
  • Monitor the performance of street cleansing operatives.
  • Work to improve the street scene.
  • Enable parking enforcement officers to issue litter notices.
  • Maximise the profitability of parking enforcement.

Social Care

  • Provide sufficient investment to Children’s Services to deliver a ‘good’ service.
  • Develop a recruitment and retention strategy that supports the delivery of high quality Children’s Services.
  • Ensure sufficient appropriate care is available for Bromley’s older residents, including high quality care home provision for the most vulnerable elderly and disabled people.

Planning

  • Maximise use of Section 106 funding to invest in the borough’s infrastructure.
  • Provide additional funding to the Planning Service to ensure all planning applications are dealt with in a timely manner.
  • Build additional capacity for planning enforcement.
  • Expedite work on planning conditions regarding large developments to ensure they can move forward in a timely manner.
  • Lobby Central Government to increase planning charges to better reflect the cost of providing the service. 

Economic Development and Town Centres 

  • Support the development of new and established businesses in the borough.
  • Assist with the provision of small, flexible business space for start-up projects.
  • Continue to build on business rates receipts.
  • Attract more businesses and investment into the borough.
  • Introduce parking validation schemes in town centres (such as in Business Improvement Districts).
  • Tailor parking schemes to the needs of individual areas.
  • Price parking in town centre locations to encourage short stay usage by shoppers and discourage long term commuter parking.
  • Support the night-time economy in Beckenham.
  • Support local traders as part of refurbishment of Bromley Market.
  • Introduce measures to direct footfall exiting The Hill car park through Bromley High Street.
  • Support economic development and regeneration within Penge and Anerley ward.
  • Encourage high quality retailers to invest in the Homebase site in Penge.
  • Introduce more pedestrianisation to town centres.
  • Introduce more parking restrictions around Market Square, Bromley to reduce delays to buses.
  • Reduce parking in high streets.
  • Ensure the development of Site A: Bromley North Station is appropriate to the local area.

Education

  • Continue to support the excellent school provision across the borough.

Community, Leisure, Culture and Sport

  • Promote heritage within Bromley Town Centre.
  • Provide funding for grassroots arts organisations within the community.
  • Advertise arts and cultural events together with other borough-wide mailings.
  • Offer support to arts organisations around becoming more self-sufficient through commercial activities.
  • Support the development of the Crystal Palace Park offer.
  • Participate in the London Open House weekend.
  • Support the continued provision of community libraries.
  • Ensure the Priory continues to be protected. 

The Leader of the Council thanked the representatives of residents’ associations for contributing to the consultation process and noted that any further comments could be provided to him at leader@bromley.gov.uk

This meeting took place on 21 November 2016.