A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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Conservative-controlled Croydon Council freezes Council Tax
16/02/2011 08:31:00

Even before the recession, many residents complained to me that Council Tax had become their biggest weekly bill. Those on fixed incomes like the elderly were particularly hard hit.

Since the Conservatives took control of the Council back in 2006, increases have been much lower - broadly been in line with inflation - but because Croydon has for many years got a raw deal in terms of funding from central government, they weren't able to cut bills in real terms.

In 2011-12, Croydon, in line with councils all around the country, will see a significant reduction in its grant as part of the Government's efforts to tackle the financial mess it inherited from Gordon Brown. As a result, councillors are going to have to take some tough decisions.

Despite this, my Conservative colleagues at the Town Hall have rightly concluded that in the current economic climate it would be wrong to have even a small increase in Council Tax. They have therefore announced that it will be frozen at last year's levels.

I know some people would be willing to pay a bit more to protect local services but with rising inflation, increases in some other taxes and cuts in some benefits as we come to terms with years of living beyond our means many people are really feeling the squeeze at the moment. The last thing those people need is a Council Tax increase. I think the Council has got this one spot on.

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Readers' Comments

On 02/04/2011 11:31:00 Simon wrote:
The following was pinched from a "Budget 2011: Key Points" article in The Telegraph:

"Council tax frozen or reduced this year in every English council "

Given that Council Tax being frozen is a Government decision and was in the 2010 emergency budget and the 2011 Budget, how can your Conservative colleagues claim that this freeze is their decision? The "yourcroydon" magazine and your blog make no reference to George Osbourne's decision, why is this?

On 02/04/2011 23:24:00 Gavin Barwell wrote:

It was a local decision, not a Government one, but the Government gave all councils an incentive to freeze Council Tax (it is giving councils that freeze Council Tax the extra money they would have got if they had increased by 2.5%, so it only made sense to increase Council Tax if you were going to do it by more than 2.5%). In the event, this incentive, coupled with a recognition by councils that many of their residents are really feeling the pinch at the moment, convinced most councils to freeze Council Tax and the remainder didn't want to be the odd ones out and fell into line. Hope that makes sense.




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Gavin Barwell, 133 Wickham Road, CR0 8TE, Tel  020 8663 8741      © Gavin Barwell  2019       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG