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Hertfordshire County Council agrees to freeze Council Tax
The majority of south west Hertfordshire residents will see no rise in their council tax this year after politicians across the county agreed a freeze.
Hertfordshire County Council, which receives 74p in every Council Tax pound, has voted not to raise its share of the levy on Tuesday.
The county council, which has responsibility for schools, social care, fire & rescue and maintenance of the county’s 3,000 miles of roads, will take £1,118.83 a year from Band D properties.
Leader of the council Robert Gordon said: "Despite the difficult economic situation and increasing pressures on the budget, we are continuing to invest in services that are essential to supporting Hertfordshire’s residents and economy.
"We have listened to what residents have said about our services and their needs and committed to addressing all of these issues in our budget, while still making the savings needed to balance the books.
"We will continue to invest in schools’ expansions to meet the demands of our growing population; improving transport facilities and maintaining the highways; and modernising homes for older people.
"Schemes are underway to bring superfast broadband to more residents; to help first time buyers get on the property ladder; and to negotiate cheaper energy prices on behalf of our residents."
The move comes after most other authorities covering the region froze their share of the Council Tax earlier this year.
People in Kings Langley are among those who will be paying more next year after Dacorum Borough Council voted in favour of a 1.9 per cent increase which takes the charge for a Band D property to £173.61 per year.
Councillor Nick Tiley, Dacorum portfolio holder for finance and resources said: "It is tremendously challenging to budget in a recession when income is going down but demands on our services are rising.
"The 1.9% increase we propose is to avoid making any cuts in services to make up for the shortfall caused by the recession and reductions in our funding from government."
Hertsmere Borough Council voted to freeze their share at £157 for an average property while Watford also froze the rates at £249.84.
In Three Rivers, the council voted to freeze their share at £154.30, bringing to an end three successive years of cuts to the charges, however the rate remains lower than it was seven years ago.
Councillor Matthew Bedford, Three Rivers executive member for resources, said: "We face a tough financial situation, with government grants cut by more than we expected, but by working hard with council staff we have been able to make back-office savings of more than £2.5 million over the past five years."
Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd also announced there would be no increase to the police’s charge of £151.65 for a Band D property.
Mr Lloyd said: "I committed myself during my election campaign to freezing the council tax and I am now making good on my commitment.
"The important thing is that while the budgets are reduced, the quality of service for Hertfordshire remains high and crime will continue to be reduced."