Local authority CEOs have mooted a possible legal challenge against central government following a meeting organised by the DCLG and the Land Registry.
The discussion revealed absolutely no support for the proposals to centralise the local land charges register (LLCR) and that some local authority CEOs were more than strident in their opposition. Continue reading →
New official figures show that the average Council Tax bill in England has fallen in real-terms for the fourth year, as almost two-thirds of town halls have taken up the government’s freeze offer, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles announced today (26 March 2014).
National statistics released today reveal that the average band D Council Tax level from this April to be £1,468, or a change of just 0.9%, 1 of the lowest changes ever and a cut in real-terms. In London, Council Tax bills have fallen in cash terms by 0.4%. Continue reading →
New figures show 251 councils have so far signed up to offer of additional central government funding to help freeze Council Tax this year.
Since 2010, the government has worked with local authorities to reduce the cost of living by freezing Council Tax, cutting average bills in England by 10% in real terms. This compares to a period between 1997 and 2010, when council tax more than doubled. Continue reading →
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 →