BEXLEY Council has agreed to freeze council tax for another year and invest £1.2million in children's services.

The council's Conservative cabinet welcomed the news and agreed the draft budget at a meeting on Monday night.

Council leader Teresa O’Neill said: "We spend taxpayers’ money and that’s a responsibility we take very seriously.

"We think it’s important to keep the council tax down and play our part in reducing public spending and helping the wider economy to grow."

"Some of the decisions we have had to take are tough, but I am proud that we are still finding ways to make life better for local people.

"That means attracting new investment into the borough to provide new jobs and opportunities, as well as developing services to help address people’s problems before they escalate."

Almost 1,000 Bexley residents had their say on the budget and proposals for changes to Children’s Centre Services.

As a result of the consultation, the council decided not to take forward a proposal to move the borough’s Local Studies and Archives Centre to Bromley.

Deputy Council leader Colin Campbell added: "We have been working to reduce our spending for nearly eight years and so far we’ve saved around £61.5 million.

"Rationalising our office accommodation will deliver further savings and we are continually searching for more efficient ways of working to make sure we can deliver the key services on which local people rely."

The budget recommended by the Cabinet is subject to approval by the full Council at its meeting on 5 March.

Councillor Katie Perrior, cabinet member for children's services told the News Shopper after the meeting that the council had needed to invest into the service after being rated as inadequate in 2012.

She added: "I have a statutory responsibility in my portfolio to look after young people. The decisions we make effect people forever and in Bexley we are trying to get the numbers of agency workers down and replace social workers permanently.

"We have got some great people in our department and when people join us they are in store for a good career with progression."