CAMDEN BUDGET: Residents are delighted by council tax freeze

Many Camden residents who I have spoken to, as well as my fellow Conservative councillors, are delighted with the freeze in council tax for 2009/10 and 2010/11. In these dire economic circumstances, partly caused by Gordon Brown s lax financial regulatory

Many Camden residents who I have spoken to, as well as my fellow Conservative councillors, are delighted with the freeze in council tax for 2009/10 and 2010/11.

In these dire economic circumstances, partly caused by Gordon Brown's lax financial regulatory regime, most tax payers are looking for some relief in their council tax and the council will deliver this.

Since 2006, Camden has focused on managing its financial affairs well, making efficiency savings while putting away money for a rainy day.

This was done even though spending on our essential services increased by 4.5 per cent in 2007/08 and 5.67 per cent in 2008/09.

Under the previous Labour administration, council tax rose every year for almost 40 years in boom as well as in recession. Moreover in 2003/04, there was a whopping 12 per cent increase.

Before 2006, Conservatives councillors pressed hard for low council taxes but Labour would not listen - making Camden a high tax borough.

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With more influence after May 2006, we pressed for more efficiencies and council tax freezes where possible.

This effort intensified during last autumn's financial upheavals, resulting in a freeze for the next two years.

The period 2006/10 will be Camden's lowest rise over a four-year period.

Using band D figures (�1,021.76), we no longer have the highest council tax in inner London and we are cheaper than Brent (�1,058.94), Haringey (�1,184.32) and Kingston upon Thames (�1,320.96).

More work is needed to bring council tax closer to the average for inner London but you can count on your Conservative elected representatives to generate efficiencies, deliver value for money and put a lid on council tax increases.

CLLR Don Williams

Conservative

Swiss Cottage

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