Seven authorities have indicated they will cut council tax in cash terms. They are Hammersmith and Fulham, South Oxfordshire, Stratford-on-Avon, Tendring, Windsor and Maidenhead, Stratford-on-Avon, South Holland and the Greater London Authority.
Local Government Minister Bob Neill has now written to council leaders urging all councils to sign up to the freeze offer as ’an act of public service’ that ‘local residents will greatly appreciate’.
Council tax bills more than doubled since 1997 until last year’s freeze. The Government has set aside up to £675 million for local authorities in England to help keep council tax down. Last year’s freeze saved households up to Continue reading →
Councils which have indicated they are going further and cutting council tax in cash terms include Hammersmith and Fulham, South Oxfordshire, Stratford-on-Avon, Tendring and Windsor and Maidenhead.
Council tax bills more than doubled since 1997 until last year’s freeze. This is the second year the Government has offered support to freeze council tax to support local residents, families and pensioners.
The Government has set aside up to £675 million for local authorities in England to help keep council tax down. Last year’s freeze saved households up to an estimated £72 on a Band D bill, and this year’s freeze could potentially do the Continue reading →
Councils across England and Wales have invested in new fleets of GPS-tracked gritting trucks, snow ploughs and specialist vehicles for narrow and hilly streets. Some are also using new types of salt and methods of spreading it to make supplies last longer.
Thousands of new grit bins have been placed in estates and side streets, residents have been given their own bags of salt along with salt spreaders in some neighbourhoods, and arrangements have been made with parish councils, farmers and community groups to grit hard-to-reach areas.
Council websites will be updated with the latest information on weather, gritting routes, school closures and Continue reading →
Poorly supported local referendums, which would have created red tape and bureaucracy, have also been stopped in their tracks, saving local residents a further £300 million.
Despite being the most efficient part of the public sector, with councils facing cuts of 28 per cent over four years, these additional costs could have meant more lost services or higher costs for residents.
These are just two of a number of LGA wins secured over the Localism Bill, which is now just days away from being signed off into law.
Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of the LGA commented:
The support for local authorities, on top of the existing freeze, means that taxpayers living in an average Band D home in England could save up to £72 on a five per cent rise in council tax.
A second year’s council tax freeze will give real help to households in difficult times and this extra funding will make a positive contribution to those local authorities who wish to keep council tax down.
A new grant scheme will be open to all billing and major precepting authorities, including police and fire authorities, which decide to freeze or reduce their council tax next year. If Continue reading →
In a letter to council leaders, Mr Pickles has given details of how councils can apply for the money and what the funding can be used for. He also pledged that the process would be quick and simple, with a minimum of red tape, and the money will be transferred quickly from central government to where it’s needed.
The one-off funding package will help rebuild communities, open up shops and repair buildings which were damaged, make sure people who lost their homes are re-housed, and help councils get their areas get back to business. It will also help fund local Continue reading →
It reveals widespread public property ownership, beyond frontline services, underlining the scope for savings and the potential of a national asset map.
Public sector assets are worth an estimated £385billion, with almost two-thirds owned by councils. The Government has now committed to work with areas seeking to make savings through better property management. The Government estimates this could potentially save £35billion over 10 years.
The Government wants public sector organisations, including councils, to publish registers of all buildings and land owned. Local people could use the lists alongside the Localism Bill’s new community rights to protect local treasures.