Wandsworth's council tax set to remain the lowest in the UKWritten by Wandsworth Conservatives Tuesday, 28 February 2012 12:51
Conservative councillors are proposing to freeze the Borough’s council tax for the fifth year running. The decision, subject to approval at a council meeting in early March, means Wandsworth will continue to have the lowest council tax rate in the UK.
The charge for an average Band D property will fall to £684, nearly half the London average of £1,308, thanks to a decision by Mayor Boris Johnson to cut his part of the council tax, following three years of freezing the amount collected by City Hall.
This is in stark contrast to Ken Livingstone who sharply increased his share of the council tax when he was Mayor of London. If Livingstone had been elected in 2008 and continued to increase tax at an average 13 per cent per year, as he did during 2000-08, it would put an extra £445.05 on the average Band D council tax rate.
Action by residents has helped Wandsworth cut costs. For example, increased recycling rates have helped save local taxpayers £700,000 a year and the increased use of online services saves a further £500,000 annually.
Council leader Ravi Govindia says: “We all know that economic times are tough and that every penny counts for our residents. That is why we have worked hard to cut management and office costs, driven hard deals on contracts and made it easier for people to access council services online. A combined effort from the council and residents means that we were able to freeze our portion of the council tax for the fifth year running.”
Kim Caddy, Conservative candidate in the forthcoming Southfields by-election, adds: “I am glad I will be able to look local residents in the eye and say their Conservative council has done everything it can to keep costs down and their bills as low as possible. People everywhere have been feeling the pinch over the last few years, it’s good they can rely on one bill not rocketing up.”
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Local Government, says: “Local resident in other parts of the country will be amazed that Wandsworth, who already charge the lowest in the land, has decided it does not need to put bills up any further to maintain good services. Wandsworth are saying loud and clear, that thanks to our help, their Band D average of £684 is more than enough for them to give their residents a much-needed cost of living break - all good councils should take heed of what can be done."
Wandsworth recently launched an 'Open Council' section of its website where residents can easily see how the council performs on issues ranging from the progress of pupils in maths and English to roads maintenance. The information is available at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/opencouncil
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