Dacorum Borough Council bucks Council Tax freeze

Dacorum bucks Council Tax freeze

Dacorum bucks Council Tax freeze

First published in News
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Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Web content editor

Local authorities in south west Hertfordshire have all announced a freeze in council tax – except Dacorum Borough Council.

Hertfordshire County Council, Three Rivers District Council, Hertsmere Borough Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner have all announced there will not be an increase in council tax.

However, Dacorum Borough has chosen to increase its share of the bill by 1.75 per cent.

The county council, which manages schools and social care, fire and rescue and maintenance of 3,000 miles of roads, announced its fifth freeze in a row at a meeting on Tuesday.

Band D properties continue to pay £1,118.83 a year for the county council’s portion of the bill, the same amount as in 2009/10.

Derrick Ashley, cabinet member for resources and transformation, said: "Our prudent financial management has allowed us to freeze Council Tax at 2009 levels, while continuing to invest in services that are essential to supporting Hertfordshire’s residents and economy.

"This is despite the difficult economic situation, national reductions in public sector spending and increasing pressures on our budget from inflation, as well as the cost of meeting the many needs of Hertfordshire’s growing population."

At the meeting a total of £1 million of contingency funding to deal with flooding was announced.

All local borough and district councils, which are in charge of the collection of household recycling and waste, cleaning streets and providing leisure facilities, have announced a freeze in Council Tax - except Dacorum Borough Council, which put its rates up by 1.75 per cent.

Watford Borough Council has also announced a freeze, making the cost for an average Band D household £249.84 a year.

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: "We know that people are fighting with the cost of living and this is a small step to help people with their day to day living expenses.

"This will be the eleventh year in a row that we have kept council tax changes below inflation, in line with my manifesto pledge, thanks to year on year savings reducing our base budget."

Three Rivers District Council has frozen Council Tax for the fifth year in a row, setting its share lower than in 2006.

The average Band D property will pay £154.22 of its tax to Three Rivers District Council.

Matthew Bedford, cabinet member for resources, said: "We have been investing in town centres, shopping parades and first class leisure facilities.

"Our town centres are cleaned regularly by the barrow beats and, unlike many parts of the country, the district council continues to provide free parking for shoppers."

Hertsmere Borough Council has also announced a freeze for the fifth year in a row.

An average Band D property will pay just over £157 in council tax to the borough council for 2014/15. Councillor John Graham, finance and property portfolio holder, said the budget-setting process was been "no less challenging" than in previous years.

Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner, David Lloyd, said a better-than-expected settlement from central Government meant he could spare taxpayers a planned 3.4 per cent rise in the police precept this year.

He added: "Now, due to careful financial planning and a better than expected overall settlement from central government, I am pleased to confirm my intention to freeze policing taxes for the fourth year running.

"In doing so, I am confident that the future of Hertfordshire’s local policing model can be safeguarded. At the same time, I am committing to funding the vital partnership work across the county which keeps our communities safe in each district and borough."

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