Many residents, parents and otherwise, will be aware of the outstanding reputation and work of the Bromley Youth Music Trust (BYMT).
However, as may will be aware, Bromley Council is facing some difficult decisions as they try to find some £60-70m savings over the next four years, and services such as BYMT, which the council is not required to provide by law, will come under scrutiny.
Currently the council makes a grant of £306,000 per annum to BYMT, in addition to a peppercorn rent at the Southborough Lane site which represents a further subsidy of some £150,000 p.a.. The Council are very keen to ensure that BYMT is able to become more financially secure by reducing its reliance on volatile council funding and diversifying its income sources. That is why they have been reducing, in a manageable way, the grant to BYMT over the last few years – in fact the direct grant to BYMT now represents less than 20% of its total income (compared to 45% four years ago) – while at the same time, crucially, the council is working with BYMT to source other funding streams.
One of these is a bid to the Arts Council, to become a hub for musical excellence in South East London. Also, the council is looking at other ways that it can support BYMT financially with the help that it already gives pupils from poorer backgrounds. The council is also encouraging BYMT to engage with other local authorities and schools, providing music services to a currently under-supplied market, as well as seeking more commercial sponsorship and support.
Bromley Council is very keen that it’s able to meet its own financial challenges but without leaving BYMT ‘high and dry’. As a jewel in Bromley’s crown we all want to see BYMT continue to go from strength to strength and the council is determined that its reputation is sustained even as its dependence on the council taxpayer continues to reduce.
Over the next four years Bromley Council will need to make savings of nearly £60m out of a budget that currently totals around £200m. If you had to take that 30% out of the budget, how would you prioritise the many services the Council provides?
Bromley received the second lowest government grant (per head) in London but, because we are already a low spending council, we also have the lowest Council Tax in Outer London. However, central government is reducing funding to local government as part of the effort since 2010 to get the national finances back on an even keel, and the effect on councils is amplified by the commitment to protect NHS and education budgets.
Against this background, all councillors – including us here in Hayes and Coney Hall – are going to have the make some very difficult decisions.
Now you can tell the council what you think, either online here or at one of the two public meetings taking place:
20th November 7pm at Orpington Methodist Church, Sevenoaks Road BR6 9JH
28th November 11am at Bromley Civic Centre, Stockwell Close BR1 3UH
Transport for London are proposing a £3m scheme to extend the Bakerloo line to Hayes via Lewisham. This would mean direct services across the West End and into North London and possibly more frequent services (though whether these higher frequencies will extend to Hayes is unclear). However, there would be no direct connection to the City or London Bridge, and some dislike the idea of smaller trains (and without toilets).
What do you think? let us know in our online survey at www.hayesandconeyhall.org.uk/bakerloo
An application for a licence to sell alcohol at the service station at the bottom of Station Approach has been withdrawn after a knock-back from the licensing committee.
At a hearing recently Cllr. Graham Arthur, on behalf of residents, had argued against the application, following which the bid was deferred in order to gather data on the number of potential customers and other aspects. Shortly after, however, the application was formerly withdrawn by the applicant.