Council tax to freeze over next five years
Leader says frontline services will not be cut to fund approved plans
HILLINGDON Council’s cabinet has approved plans to freeze council tax for the next five years by saving £15.3million.
The council needs to save £60m over the next five years, including £15.3m in 2015/16, when its central government funding will be cut by £13.8m.
Major savings will come from areas including adult social care, children and young people’s services and residents’ services – but the council insists frontline services will not be cut.
The authority will also invest in a new theatre and museum in Uxbridge, a new youth centre in Harefield, improvements to the borough’s roads and pavements, and other environmental and recreational projects.
Council leader councillor Ray Puddifoot told the cabinet: “This is an extremely satisfying position to be in at this stage of the financial year. Councils across the country would bite your hand off to be in our position.” The council’s plans involve saving: £3m from its budget for residents’ services £1.6m from adult social care £926,000 from finance £907,000 from children and young people’s services
£317,000 from administration costs.
Councillor Puddifoot said this would come from improved efficiency and economies of scale and would therefore not impact on services.
He said: “Although there are tough times ahead, thanks to our sound financial management we are in full control of the budget situation.
“While other local authorities are making cuts to services, our budget protects frontline services that our residents value and provides further investment in local services and puts residents first.”
The council expects to make up the bulk of the remainder of its required savings through increased council tax and business rates earnings, as more houses are being built and more businesses are opening.
The proposals will allow council tax to be frozen for the seventh year running – the ninth for over-65s.
Most fees and charges for residents, including parking charges, will also stay the same for a further year.
The cabinet voted through the measures at a meeting on Thursday, December 18.
They will now go to a policy overview committee and local residents for consultation, before going before full council in February 2015.
If approved by full council, the proposals will become effective immediately.