Hounslow Council Tax to rise by 4.6%
Borough last to declare new Council Tax levels in London
Hounslow Councillors agreed to a 4.6% increase in council tax at the Borough Council Budget meeting held this week.
Leader of the Council, Colin Ellar (pictured right), said: “This is a prudent budget, and a good budget for education. We have tried to keep the increase as low as possible while maintaining front-line services. In response to our residents’ survey, key priorities for this year focus on youth, crime and grime."
The local tax rise was 4.4% but the Greater London Authority (GLA) precept, brought the total up to 4.6%. It means that the council tax for a Band D property will be £1320.62 per annum the fifth highest in London with Richmond Borough still the highest. The Greater London Authority precept includes funding for the Metropolitan Police Authority, Transport for London and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.
Cllr. Ellar added, “We need to find savings, but reduction in expenditure does not mean a reduction in service levels, and savings can be found by operating more efficiently.”
The Council had come under fire for the late distribution of the budget report which did not allow Councillors the statutory amount of time to review it. Some opposition Councillors are suggesting that a legal challenge to the budget may be possible on these grounds.
Alexander Northcote – the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Brentford & Isleworth – has expressed his concern that council tax bills in Hounslow could soar under the Government’s plans for a ‘rigged’ council tax revaluation. The revaluation process will start this April, with each home being re-assessed for council tax purposes, and new bills being issued in April 2007.
He described this as a "ticking council tax bombshell: intentionally primed to explode after the general election." He pledged to try to stop these plans and introduce additional measures to keep down council tax – including a new 50 per cent discount on council tax for pensioners aged 65 and over.
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