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Council Tax freeze

March 16, 2011

Council Tax will be frozen this year at its 2010 level, thanks to the actions of the Conservative-led Coalition (Ed Miliband likes to call it that, so why shouldn’t I?) This will be the third year in a row that the Mayoral precept has remained at its 2008 level, thanks to the policies adopted by the incumbent Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

We are pleased to see that RBK has made some tentative steps towards sharing back-office facilities with Sutton and Merton, which should result, according to the RBK website, in savings of £5m over the ten year agreement period. The website doesn’t specify whether that means £5m each or £5m shared between the three of them. The steps are, however, much more tentative than some other Boroughs are adopting and one hopes for greater boldness in years to come.

One blot on this year’s budget, however, is the decision to cut further community services to those in real need of them while at the same time continuing to break the pledge made years ago that the Rose Theatre would not be subsidised out of the Council Tax. What amounted to a three-year subsidy of £600,000 a year has been replaced by a five year one of £500,000 a year. When will this ever end?

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