Harrow Council has announced its intention to freeze Council Tax for the next three years. This follows pledges from Hammersmith & Fulham, and Hounslow to cut the tax next year.
The administration has said it will institute a zero per cent increase next year, and again in 2011/12 and 2012/13. The pledge is conditional on an assumed new Conservative Government delivers on a promise to reimburse low council tax increases.
The announcement says: In the first two years of a Conservative government, councils will also have the ability to contract with central government to freeze council tax. Those councils who take up the contract will have to undertake to hold the rate of rise in council tax to 2.5 per cent or less; and central government will correspondingly undertake to make a payment equal to 2.5 per cent of that councils council tax so that bills can be frozen in each such council for the two year period.
Fairly radical savings will be necesary to achieve this, and some may come from a major review of how ‘central services’ could be shared with the Police or the NHS. The Harrow Observerreports that the review is looking at sharing buildings with other public bodies and the voluntary sector.