Hillingdon set to freeze council tax for 10th year running
(Picture - Zoe Greenwood)
Hillingdon Residents are set to benefit from another freeze in council tax despite almost 95% of authorities expected to raise it this year, according to the Local Government Finance Survey.
Hillingdon Council Leader, Raymond Puddifoot (Conservative, Ickenham) has said it has escaped this panic by taking on a ‘residents first approach’. It has saved enough in balances, while making sure other services still have enough funding. For that reason, families, in Hillingdon, living in an average Band D property will continue to pay £1392.95 per year equating to just under £140 per month over the 10-month payment period.
However, Deputy Leader of the Labour Group, John Morse (Pinkwell), said the main reason the council can freeze council tax is due to the number of new properties built in the area. He said: “Due to the high level of construction that has taken place in Hillingdon, the Council Tax base has risen 10% in 4 years, so Hillingdon has had an increase in income from the tax.” The extra properties in the borough are bringing in the money the council needs to be able to keep council tax frozen. “There is no financial miracle in Hillingdon as we have minimum permanent staff and in Social Services and this has had a significant impact on services.”
But Cllr Puddifoot said: “We have a policy in Hillingdon that we will always charge at least 90% lower of what out neighbouring boroughs charge for anything.” Council tax can remain frozen because “we do not just set the budget for 18/19 next year, but we go right through to the four years following and we plan out the best we can so that we can see the pressures that are coming on our services.”
Despite the freeze, Cllr Puddifoot has confirmed that all current services will remain unchanged, while also committing to new spending projects, including the building of a new swimming pool and a waste and recycling centre in Yiewsley, West Drayton.