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Council tax rise highest' in the region

PUBLISHED: 14:27 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:15 25 August 2010

COUNCILLORS have been accused of breaking their election promises after they voted to raise council tax by 2.5 per cent.

COUNCILLORS have been accused of "breaking their election promises" after they voted to raise council tax by 2.5 per cent.

All Bexley's Conservative councillors approved the hike at a full council meeting last Wednesday while all their Labour colleagues abstained from voting.

The Labour parliamentary candidate for Bexleyheath and Crayford, Howard Dawber, said now the borough will have the highest council tax in south-east London.

He said: "It is higher than Labour Lewisham or Labour Greenwich where an average Band D homeowner pays £100 less for better services.

"In 2006 the Tories swept to power in Bexley saying Labour's £1,316 a year (Band D) was too much. Now we know that was really good value because under the Conservatives council tax is £111 more expensive but services have been slashed.

"The Conservatives promised to look after the elderly - but are making cuts to core services for elderly and vulnerable people like home help, day centres and transport for the disabled - on top of their cruel decision last year to stop providing meals on wheels.

"And everyone is going to pay more as charges for parking, using council facilities and even for funerals go through the roof."

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Greenwich, councillors voted to freeze their rates at a meeting on February 25.

Although Leader of the Council Chris Roberts claims this is a result of prudent management, the Leader of the Opposition Spencer Drury claims he is 'misleading' residents as cuts are going ahead.

Mr Drury said: "The Medium Term Financial strategy which we are now half way through is a four-year strategy to cut £24 million.

"Over the last several years burial charges have risen 7.5 per cent above inflation.

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