Our neighbours, Conservative controlled Hammersmith and Fulham, are making a big splash today with an announcement of a 3% reduction in council tax.
One of the H&F Conservatives’ main pledges at the last local elections in May last year was to reduce council tax to Wandsworth levels.
This 3% cut is their first step. They are running against a national trend which will see many councils up in the 5% increase zone. We will see a small increase in Ealing this year as indicated by our own leader in December (see previous posting). As H&F’s photo shows the London Mayor will be in the vanguard of high increases looking at over 5% after last year’s 13.5% increase (see previous posting).
See press release.
Their leader, Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, said:
This is the first budget since the May 2006 election and we are combining lower tax with more cash for things that matter to residents. The council is pumping in £1.5million over two years to pay for round the clock beat policing in our town centres as well as spending more on schools and providing free homecare for our most vulnerable residents.
We were elected to cut council tax bills and deliver better front line services and this is what our first budget does. While other councils are piling more tax on their residents we are reversing that trend and turning back the clock so that our council tax is now at 2004 levels. That’s got to be great news for everyone, particularly for our pensioners and those on low incomes.