Kingston one of only five London boroughs set to defy advice and raise council tax


Communities Secretary Eric Pickles condemned the council for not putting the hike to the public vote.


By SWLondoner staff

Kingston residents are likely to face a rise in council tax next year, one of only five London boroughs set to defy the government’s advice.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles recently said he hoped most councils would freeze their rates next year.

Earlier this year, he singled out Kingston Council for increasing the tax by just under the two per cent threshold and not having the guts to put their hike in the public vote.

“Hiking council tax by 1.99 per cent and dodging a referendum is showing a complete contempt for their electorate,” he said.

The council said that the rise is necessary in order to pay for a huge reduction in its government funding.

The four other London boroughs set to raise council tax are Bromley, Lewisham, Harrowand Croydon.

In Wandsworth, bills will go up by 22p per week, but despite the increase borough’s average council tax bill will still remain the lowest in the country.

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said the first rise in ten years is a result of having to pass on increases from other public organisations who make up the bill.

“We have been striving to achieve best possible value and efficiency for over a generation, while most other councils have only just started,” he said.

“Once again we have been able to freeze our share of bills but we cannot absorb costs that are beyond our control and are levied by other statutory organisations.

“Our budgets remain under extreme pressure and further action is required if we are to make the necessary savings in the years ahead to ensure we do not increase the financial burden on residents.”

Photo courtesy of Department for Communities and Local Government, with thanks.

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