Cllr Ian Clement, the Conservative Leader of Bexley Council, has written to the Minister for Local Government to express his bitter disappointment with the Government’s planned grant for 2007/08 towards the cost of Bexley’s local services.
“Even though we’re a highly rated Council with a commitment to managing our budget carefully and keeping our Council Tax down, this Labour Government is offering us the minimum increase in grant – and around half the average cash increase given to local councils in England,” said Cllr Clement. “Bexley residents deserve better.”He added “We inherited a budget from the previous Labour administration that would have meant a 10% increase in Council Tax and we’re doing everything we can to bring this down to an acceptable level. With this poor deal from the Government and with inflation running close to 4%, this will be even more of a challenge.”
The Local Government Minister, Phil Woolas, announced the provisional local government finance settlement for 2007/08 on 28 November. Under the settlement, Bexley is set to receive a cash increase in grant of less than 2%. The average increase for local authorities in England is set at around 3.3%, while the rate of inflation is currently 3.7%.
The Council has until 5 January 2007 to make representations on the Government’s proposals.
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