Cuts proposed by the Tory Council are rushed, short sighted and will cause unprecedented loss of services for Penge residents. Your Labour councillors accept that difficult financial decisions need to be made but the speed and severity of decisions by the Tories highlight that their cuts are made as much due to ideology as to economic necessity. A lack of effective consultation within the community and a failure to see that some cuts will actually result in an increase in long term spending prove this. The cuts are across the board and nothing seems to be left unharmed.
Adult Education – the Kentwood Centre is under threat, depriving local residents of easy access to important courses such as basic skills and employability skills.
BME – funding has been cut with important venues such as the HILAC Centre and The Pineapple Club facing the possibility of closure.
Care – the KeyRing service which provides Living Support Networks to people with disabilities is to lose all funding.
Arts – groups such as the Bromley Youth Music Trust will have funding cut
Public Services – Public toilets in both Penge and Beckenham are facing closure.
Youth Services – the Tories are looking to sell off The Hub in Snowdown Close which acts as a Youth Club providing both activities and learning.
These are simply a few examples of the many important Penge groups facing the possibility of funding being decreased or even completely cut.
Added to cuts to specific groups, there will be generic cuts. As an example waste services which are already inadequate in our area will face a reduction in funding.
As we have stressed the Labour Councillors are aware money needs to be saved. However, we feel not enough has been done in raising revenue or looking at partnerships and other sources of funding.