The leader of Bromley Council has set his priorities for what could be a “tough” four years in charge.

Councillor Colin Smith’s Conservatives won a strong majority during the elections, and he has been selected again to lead the council.

Cllr Smith took over from Stephen Carr in September, and accepted the role for his first full term at a meeting on Wednesday (May 16).

The leader said: “I was honoured to be appointed in late September, and at the time I drew up some of the imperatives facing our borough, like so many other local authorities in what remains an absolutely unprecedented time for austerity in local government. I think that message is finally starting to resonate at central government.”

The leader said extending transport links from the centre of London to Bromley North and, ambitiously, to Bromley south, was a fight the council would continue.

He said: “It’s an ongoing battle we have been having for many years, we have by no means given up on that.”

The council will also lobby for a “fair deal” in the capital’s policing, with the leader saying the new combined service with Sutton and Croydon was a potential danger to residents.

He added: “In Bromley we are completing our work in children services and we stand every prospect in achieving a unique turnaround for any authority – if we do manage to pull it off it will be an outstanding achievement.”

Bromley’s children services were slammed by inspectors in 2016, and the council is expecting a much-improved result at its next inspection.

The council leader continued: “There is vital work to be done in integrating health and adult social services, and that probably along with housing is the biggest challenge we face over the next four years.

“Members will have seen our housing and our homelessness strategy in the last few months. That work is key. Such is the need to ensure there are more Bromley homes for Bromley people.”

As central government continues to slash the cash available to local councils, authorities face a challenge to raise money to support themselves.

The leader said: “We continue to work towards self-sufficiency around council finances, that is dependent on the government reducing funding available and, on what money we can generate in revenue, and we are working to look at new ideas for that.

“There are going to be some exciting and challenging papers coming through the next cycle of the council.

“Some of them are going to be tough. We are going to have some difficult choices to make, and I’m sure councillors on all sides will play a part in making the right decisions.”

The council leader was elected alongside the new mayor, who will be councillor Kim Botting.

The council’s cabinet, as chosen by the cllr Smith, will be: 

Councillor Peter Fortune                             Deputy Leader and Children, Education and Families

Councillor Diane Smith                                   Adult Care and Health

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher Environment and Community Services

Councillor Kate Lymer                                    Public Protection and Enforcement

Councillor Peter Morgan                               Renewal, Recreation and Housing

Councillor Graham Arthur                            Resources, Commissioning and Contract Management