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Want to book a library PC online?

Did you know that you can now book a library PC online? Simple - go to https://arena.yourlondonlibrary.net/web/bexley/home and book your slot. It's free to book and free to use!

50th anniversary web pages

London Councils have launched a series of dedicated web pages as part of on-going activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the London boroughs this year.

The pages include -

• A series of photo galleries containing archive and contemporary images from across the boroughs - including a good selection from Bexley - from the past 50 years.
• A political almanac capturing information on the political control, number of councillors, leader (or equivalent) and chief executive (or equivalent) in each borough from 1964 to the present.
• Two short films produced for us by London's Screen Archives using archive and contemporary footage from across London.
• A short overview of how the boroughs were formed.

You can access the web pages at http://boroughs50.londoncouncils.gov.uk/

Capita helps Bexley achieve highest ever tax collection rates

Capita Local Government has helped the London Borough of Bexley achieve its highest ever collection of council tax and business rates.

Council tax collection in 2014-15 hit an all-time high of 96.5% while 98.5% of businesses paid their business rates. It means that the London Borough of Bexley, a partner of Capita since 1996, has collected an extra £2.2 million in council tax and more than £790,000 in business rates than the previous year.

In February this year, Capita made significant improvements to the Council Tax page on the Council's website, making it easier to navigate, and last year it introduced a new online system to encourage residents to do more for themselves digitally. The channel shift programme, supported by Capita's software, has seen the number of Bexley residents accessing the website increase by 71% since last year.

The proportion of residents paying their council tax via Direct Debit increased by 7% in the last year, taking the total percentage of payments made this way to 71.4%.

Council Leader Cllr Teresa O'Neill said: "Giving people the chance to make online payments, set up their housing benefit claims and Direct Debit orders from the website, and to inform us of any
changes in their circumstances has helped our tax collection rate rise significantly. We are looking forward to continuing to improve outcomes and help residents by working with Capita over the coming years."

Residents can use the Council's online portal to register for an account and contact the council to pay council tax and business rates, make a planning application, or report a problem such as a missed bin collection. Further enhancements and services will continue to be added to the portal over the coming months.

National Volunteer's Week

Thamesmead residents are making a real difference in their community in the run up to and beyond National Volunteer's Week (1-5 June).

More than 500 people are registered with Trust Thamesmead, part of the Peabody Group, to volunteer in Thamesmead, giving up their time to community groups and organisations.

With 30 varied volunteering opportunities currently available, ranging from health and wellbeing and literacy champions to drivers and drama facilitators, we thought we would ask a few of our volunteers about the difference they are making in their community and the reasoning behind their selflessness.

To celebrate National Volunteers Week, Trust Thamesmead, part of the Peabody Group, are offering a number of events to encourage volunteering:

Monday 1 June 10am-3pm Volunteer Open Day
Find out more about volunteering in Thamesmead, Trust Thamesmead, 19a Joyce Dawson Way, Thamesmead Town Centre, SE28 8RA.

Tuesday 2 June 10am-12pm 2-4pm and 4.30-6.30pm Free Volunteer Management and Role Writing Workshop
These workshops will tell you all you need to know about running a successful volunteering programme.

Wednesday 3 June 9am-5pm Volunteering
Help to pack food parcels for a local food bank, maintain and upcycle furniture with Thamesmead Furniture Recycle or transform an area into a natural play space. There are three volunteering opportunities available to choose from today. Please get in touch with Trust Thamesmead to find out more.

Friday 5 June 10am-12pm 2-4pm and 4.30-6.30pm Effective Volunteering Workshop
These workshops will introduce you to volunteering, how to be a good volunteer and ways to get involved.

For more information about volunteering opportunities in Thamesmead contact Trust Thamesmead's Community Development Outreach Worker (Volunteering) Sarah Feleppa, 020 8320 4470 or sfeleppa@trust-thamesmead.co.uk or visit http://www.trust-thamesmead.co.uk/volunteering

Consultation launched on night bus services to complement introduction of the Night Tube

Transport for London (TfL) has today (19 May 2015) begun consulting on proposed changes to the night bus network ahead of the introduction of the Night Tube, which will transform night-time journeys in London from this September.

The proposals follow a comprehensive review of TfL's night bus services. This looked at demand for new links on weekend-nights from suburban stations for passengers travelling to and from central London on the new Night Tube.

From Saturday 12 September, the start of the Night Tube service, TfL is proposing to continue all night bus services and introduce 20 new services and one extended service, to help customers travel to and from Night Tube stations. Seventeen of the new services would run on Friday and Saturday nights, with three running seven nights a week. These would help passengers start or finish their Night Tube journeys, as well as providing new travel opportunities to and from suburban local centres. All of these new services would follow the same route and run between the same points as the day service.

The Night Tube will play a vital role in opening up London's night-time economy to a host of new opportunities, supporting around 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by £360 million.

The public consultation, which runs from today until 1 July, is available online at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/night-bus-review.

Colourful 5k is huge success - hundreds join Bexley's first ever colour run

Hundreds of rainbow 'Colour Runners' took part in Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice's first ever colour run on Sunday, and ran, walked, jogged and even hula-hooped their way round Danson Park. The multicoloured crowd are expected to have raised over £20,000 in support of their local Hospice.

Participants made their way round the five-kilometre course, during which they were showered in powder paint at three stations along the route, and at the start and finish line.

Local fire fighters joined in the fun, showering participants in paint, spraying them with water as they passed and also helping clean down the park afterwards.

The initial 500 places sold out so quickly and due to demand, the Hospice released an additional 250 places - that also sold out quickly.

The event looks set to raise well over £20,000 for the Hospice.

Hospice community fundraiser Megan Boyle said: "Colour run events are really popular at the moment, and this was not only the first colour run for the Hospice, but the first colour run to hit Bexley! - It's the first of its kind locally.

Bexleyheath business nYne bar and DHL Sainsbury's Dartford Depot came along in force on the day to man the red and yellow colour stations.

The event was sponsored by creative agency PAD Creative, who brought along a team of ten to run in support of the Hospice.

After Sunday's success the Hospice is planning on making next year's event bigger and better.

Return to this week's Bexley Bulletin.

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