Council leader proud of 'strong sense of community spirit' in Bromley
PUBLISHED: 11:00 25 December 2015
Here Stephen Carr's seasonal message.
I would like to wish all our residents, those working in the borough and our business community a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from myself and councillors at Bromley Council.
I’d also like to thank those who took part in our online survey or gave your views and feedback in other ways as we set the budget for 2016-17. There can be no doubt these remain very challenging times for the Council with more than £50 million to save over the next four years in addition to £60 million saved over the past few years. As your elected representatives hearing what matters to you continues to be vital. We also appreciate the contributions you make in practical ways in helping us balance the budget. For instance by sustaining recycling levels of 50% we’ve saved over £4.7 million in landfill tax during 2014-15.
In this season of giving, it is timely to recognise the contribution so many of you make by giving your valuable time to help others. I am proud of the tradition of volunteering and strong sense of community spirit so evident in Bromley and to see this in action I need only look to how our ground breaking Friend’s initiative is expanding year on year. We now have 1,166 Street Friends, 50 Groups of Park Friends as well as community groups who have raised more than £300k to look after our open spaces and 4,600 Snow Friends ready and waiting to lend a hand in the event of wintry weather. Then there are the numerous and highly active organisations and charities who work ceaselessly, some in partnership with the council, to offer support and help to our most vulnerable residents. There are also those who have opened their homes to care for a foster child to help them face the future with confidence, while others share their lives with an adult with learning disabilities or different needs. These are only a few of the examples of how our residents give selflessly of their time for the greater good.
I would also like to touch on some of our investment plans for the borough as we continue to develop and maintain it as the special place it is. A major refurbishment programme has been completed in Bromley North Village with work progressing in Bromley South. The Old Town Hall is being redeveloped with a four star hotel and residential scheme. In Orpington a major hotel chain is planned and the market square will be refurbished. Penge is getting a makeover with new seating, pavements, lighting and signage and we now have two Business Improvement Districts in Orpington and Bromley and a public realm proposal for Beckenham. We are also working with investors in the Cray Valley Corridor and the Biggin Hill Strategic Outer London Development Centre to stimulate employment growth. Such investment plans are crucial as we secure jobs and prosperity for all now and in the future.
Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you, your families and friends, peace and goodwill and once again, a very merry Christmas.