Ex-leader: Council tax freeze will hit services

PUBLISHED: 11:43 24 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:04 25 August 2010

THE government s plan to freeze council tax will mean more cuts to services, according to the former council leader.

THE government's plan to freeze council tax will mean more cuts to services, according to the former council leader.

While central government cannot force councils to freeze their budgets, Chancellor George Osborne has promised that any authority which limits spending rises to 2.5 per cent will get that amount back from Whitehall.

Since 1995, Bexley council has been forced to increase its rates, but now under the new rules they will be prevented from doing so.

Labour councillor Chris Ball, who was also council leader for four years from 2002, said: "The plan to freeze council tax will mean the council will have to either stop providing services or charge people for them.

"Elderly home care has gone up by £3 an hour. Services are going to have to be cut back. It is inevitable.

"Services are slipping because of under-investment. Nobody has taken the political decision to stop doing things so everything is being done not as well as they used to be.

"It is a strange move by the government as they talked about local people being the decision-makers, setting up their own schools and so on. Now local decision-makers cannot set their own budgets."

Current council leader Teresa O'Neill told the Times that that she welcomed the announcement.

She added: "We still have control of our budgets. They are not freezing it, they are saying they would like people to freeze it. When they were in power in Bexley, Labour put up council tax by 40 per cent over four years. We have got to get more for less. We started something called Strategy 2014 last September, which looks at all our options and makes sure we never duplicate our services.

"We are all going to have to do our share, but we are protecting our frontline services. It is about working together as a council and squeezing out all the pips."

Leader of Greenwich Council, Chris Roberts, refused to comment.


Latest Bexley news

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kent head coach Matt Walker was disappointed to see his side outplayed by County Championship Division Two title rivals Warwickshire on day one of their match at Edgbaston.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A man from Bexley who was in a band in the 1960s last month had his dream come true when his former band members reunited to play at a charity dance.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Warwickshire took huge strides towards the Specsavers County Championship Division Two title by totally dominating the opening day against rivals Kent at Edgbaston.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Officers are appealing for information following an assault in Albany Park station.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The most popular names given to baby boys and girls last year in East London suggests that where you live could influence what name you choose for your child.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Bexleyheath based big cat keeper and author, Martin Hill, has released another picture book about the relationship between three young big cats.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Kent travel to Birmingham for their Specsavers County Championship Division Two title showdown with Warwickshire starting on Monday.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

We talk to hundreds of local business owners every day; we hear their concerns, understand their challenges and share in their successes.

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24