The Bexley Council ‘Strategy 2018′ budget public consultation is still open. The deadline for responses is 9 January 2015. It contains all sorts of proposals covering community safety and leisure (including a substantial reduction in the Council’s grant to Bexley Heritage Trust which operates Danson House and Hall Place), environment (ground maintenance, graffiti removal, charging for garden waste collection and reducing opening hours at recycling centres), finance and corporate services, adults’ services, children’s services, regeneration and growth.
The proposals include a remodelling of the borough’s library service which would remove four libraries, including Blackfen, from the core service and seek a management organisation to run them instead. (There has already been a separate consultation on this).
They also include the disposal of 27 of the 106 public parks and open spaces in the borough. The Council have refused a FOI request to identify the 27 to be disposed of.
Please have your say by responding to the consultation here.
Personally I have little faith in these ‘public consultations’ (as evidenced by the recent failure to take any notice of the public consultation and petition against the libraries proposal) but it is better to have your say than not to. I particularly dislike the withholding of detailed information on what is being proposed, which means the public cannot make a fully informed decision. It’s not the first time Bexley Council has refused a FOI request and cited “it would inhibit free and frank discussions” (ie the Save Bexley Archives campaign) – of course it does the complete opposite.