Ealing recommits to Council Tax freeze

Ealing Council’s cabinet has reiterated the council’s intention to freeze council tax for the seventh year running.

The council has received a 15% reduction in Government Settlement Funding from £154.8million in 2014/15 to £131.6million for 2015/16.

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of the council said: “By freezing council tax over the past four years we estimate that we have saved local people around £26million in charges. We will continue to do everything possible to ease the financial burden on local people by keeping council tax as low as possible.”

At the cabinet meeting, councillors approved a further £12.7million of budget reductions of which £6.8million would be saved from April 2015. The council still needs to identify a further £18.8million if it is to meet its overall target.

Councillor Yvonne Johnson, cabinet member for finance, performance and welfare, said: “We have ambitious plans to attract more businesses into the borough. This will create new jobs and increase our income from business rates. We are ensuring that more affordable homes are built; as well as creating enough school places for our children; and we will, of course, be pushing for the best healthcare services for our residents.”

The council will set its budget for the next financial year on 24 February. The government will give all local authorities who freeze council tax a grant. In Ealing this is worth £1.3million. However the grant may not cover future years’ budgets and if it doesn’t the council will have to cover the funding shortfall at a later date.

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