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Bexley Council Tax bills to rise

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 February 2018

Cllr Teresa O'Neill. Picture: Archant

Cllr Teresa O'Neill. Picture: Archant

Archant

Households will have to pay another 3.99per cent on their Council Tax from April.

A sustained squeeze on finances for all councils across the UK from central government looking to drive down what the country owes the banks, means residents have to pay more.

Bexley Council says that when it set its new budget, the only way to maintain services was to impose the almost 4pc increase on its residents. The rise should be rubber stamped at a full meeting early next month.

It said this amount includes a 2pc precept earmarked to help with the increasing cost of adult social care.

Council leader Teresa O’Neill said: “Our focus is on living within our means and making sure we use the money taxpayers have given us to deliver the maximum benefit for the borough and our residents.

“People know that the economy is going through a challenging period, but we will continue to show that we can do a lot of good with the money we have. We are also continuing to plan carefully for the future and put money aside to ensure we can cope with the unexpected.”

With the Mayor of London increasing his share of the council tax by 5.82pc, Bexley residents in a typical Band D property will see annual bills go up by around £49.64.

Bexley is spending over £466million on local services next year, including £108 million on long-term investment in health, social infrastructure, and housing.

Residents’ Council Tax now contributes 41p of every £1 the council spends.

Government wants councils to be financially self-sufficient from 2020/21, so the squeeze on cash will continue.

Bexley has saved £109m since 2010 by generating income through commercial activities, and making savings by improving the way services are commissioned.

It will also intervene early to prevent care needs escalating, promote economic growth and work strategically with a growing range of public and private partners.

The authority said: “Like many other councils, Bexley faces significant spending pressures, including the cost of increasing homelessness, plus growing demand for adults’ and children’s services. Rising inflation is also pushing up costs.”

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