Fury as Bexley council votes through £35.3 million cuts

09:47 10 March 2011

Carers protesting

Carers protesting

Archant

Police officers had to be brought in to mind the protesters as Bexley councillors voted through £35.3 million worth of cuts.

Protesters

Residents who attended the meeting last night had to have their bags searched and those with cameras were banned from entering.

There were shouts of ‘shame’, “cutting respite care is not right” and “good old democracy” from the residents in the public gallery who amounted to approximately 165.

Heckler Charan Athwal, 60, from Bexleyheath, had to be warned by the security guards repeatedly to be quiet and later the leader of the opposition Chris Ball tried to calm him.

The raft of cuts which will begin next month will see the closure of the Bexley Council for Equality and Diversity (BCED) which was founded 40 years ago.

Police were brought in to guard the civic offices

Cuts also include a reduction in the number of days adults with learning disabilities can use day centres and reducing transport to and from school for students with special educational needs.

The budget will see £35.3 million cuts over a three-year period to 2014. The council intends to save £15.3 million in the forthcoming financial year. This includes £1.6 million in children’s services and £1.2 million in health and adult care.

Protesters gathered around the back doors to chant “care, not cuts” as councillors entered the emotionally charged meeting.

Conservative councillors rejected the Labour amendments to their cuts package which was announced last October.

Protesters outside the civic office

Labour’s proposals included removing six months worth of cuts from the learning disabilities budget, as well as removing the cuts to the youth provision.

Outlining how this would be financed, councillor Ball stated scrutiny costs would be reduced and £375,000 removed from the Housing Stock. The rejected proposals also included reducing the contingency reserve from £10.7 million to £10.1 million which he said was a “pot for a rainy day - and it is now pouring.”

There were deafening boos as 51 councillors voted in favour of the budget while all 11 Labour councillors voted against. One member was absent.

How do these cuts affect you? Contact marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk or call 0208 269 7012

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
The capital saw a protest two weeks ago after the Tories were elected (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

As the Queen’s Speech marks the official formation of the Conservative government, anti-austerity protesters are planning to hold a demonstration in Trafalgar Square at 5pm this evening.

Monday, May 25, 2015
As TfL are taking over the London Liverpool Street to Shenfield line, it will now appear on the Tube map.

Train services from Shenfield to London Liverpool Street will be run by TfL from May 31.

Monday, May 18, 2015
Your future Mayor? [Image from YouTube]

Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, Ivan Massow, has transformed himself into a cartoon character in order to get the top job.

Sunday, May 10, 2015
Protestors are surrounded by police (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

All but one of 15 people arrested during a spontaneous anti-austerity protest against the new Tory government have been bailed, police said today.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Voters in Hampstead voted for Ronnie Carroll, who is dead (PA)

A total of 113 people voted for a parliamentary candidate who died four weeks before the election.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Ed Balls has lost his seat (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Ed Balls became the highest-profile casualty of a disastrous General Election performance for Labour, losing his seat to the Conservatives in a shock result. Twitter reacted to his demise...

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

Read more
The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more