Hounslow and Ealing councillors have voted to freeze the level of council tax .
Hounslow councillors have voted to freeze the level of council tax in Hounslow for the fifth year in a row. The freeze makes Hounslow one of only three councils in the country to have not increased their share of the council tax since 2006. The budget for 2011/12 agreed by councillors includes a package of savings of £18 million.
Cllr Jagdish Sharma, leader of the London Borough of Hounslow, said: “When families across the borough are struggling to make every pound go as far as possible, it would be wrong of us to ask for more money from them. We must now concentrate on transforming how we will provide our services in the future as we are faced with further cuts in funding for the next three years.”
The council is now planning how it can make the £18 million savings for 2012/13, and £12 million in each of the two following years.
Ealing’s decision is their third consecutive council tax freeze. Ealing Council leader, Councillor Julian Bell, said: “With the cost of living rising, I am keenly aware that local people are having to stretch their finances. The scale of government cuts are devastating and will mean we have to strip at least £55million out of our budgets over the next three years. But, we have planned properly and delivered a prudent budget to reduce costs while still delivering on the things that matter most to residents. Even in these times of austerity we must invest in the borough’s future.”
Councillor Yvonne Johnson, cabinet member for Finance and Performance, said: “We are looking to drive down costs and increase efficiency. For example, the council is expecting to spend £1.27million less on buying adult social care services by negotiating contracts in partnership with other west London boroughs.”