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‘Modest rise’ approved for borough council tax

Residents will have to pay an extra 3.9 per cent for the year 2017/18, which for a Band D property will be £408.12 a year, up from £392.81

24 February, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya

Adam Hug: Central government cuts are to blame

A “MODEST rise” in council tax was approved this week by Westminster councillors. Residents will have to pay an extra 3.9 per cent for the year 2017/18, which for a Band D property will be £408.12 a year, up from £392.81.

The Greater London Authority precept will be added on top of this. The council say that they charge the lowest amount for this type of property in the country – and 45 per cent less than the inner London average. The new prices will need to be approved by a vote by the full council on March 1. Westminster Council have long prided themselves on keeping council tax low, but they justify the rises because they are now facing a projected budget gap of £46million, against a backdrop of ongoing government cuts.

Labour group leader Cllr Adam Hug said: “The council tax rises are the result of years of cruel and counter productive Conservative government cuts to local government funding that have caused huge damage to our communities here in Westminster.”

Westminster City Hall claims the council tax rise – which can be split into a two per cent increase for adult social care services and a 1.9 per cent increase for more for general council tax and will help plug this gap.

Cllr Tim Mitchell, cabinet member for finance, property and corporate services said: “But with increasing demands and some uncertain times ahead, that’s why we are proposing a modest increase in the Westminster element of council tax, equivalent to 30p per week. But we will continue to do all we can to make sure we make every penny of council tax payers’ money count and maintain our proud position as having the lowest Band D council tax in the country with services that set standards for others to follow.”

He added: “Despite the climate of austerity and increasing demand on our services, with our track record of continued leadership and strong management action I am confident that we will continue delivering the excellent services with low taxes that our residents, quite rightly, expect. While we will continue to have tough budget decisions ahead and having already made £120million of savings over the last three years, we will be spending £800million this year on much-valued local services, from libraries to leisure centres, street cleaning and our green spaces as well as the wrap-around support for our most vulnerable residents and our children’s services that were rated as one of the best performing in the country at their last inspection.”

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