Council tax frozen for another year in Tower Hamlets

Council tax will be frozen for another year in Tower Hamlets, the town hall announced today.

The plan will be rubberstamped early next year but should see the average Band D property remain at �1,195 for the next financial year.

Earlier this week the government announced that it would make one-off grants to local authorities which do not raise council tax for 2012/13.

The grants are worth the equivalent of a 2.5 per cent hike in the charge for councils.

A similar deal was agreed between every council in the country and the government last year.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said: “In these austere times our residents are finding it more and more difficult to pay basic household bills.

“I have asked officers to prepare a budget to deliver improved services without increasing the financial burden on local people.”

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The mayor’s budget proposals will be set out in a cabinet paper in January.

Communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles said the freeze was worth up to �72 each year to Band D residents.

But the Local Government Association warned that councils must consider future projects as the freeze is for one year only.

Chairman Sir Merrick Cockell said: “Many councils will be keen to help people out by freezing council-tax bills for a second successive year but, if they are thinking of taking this offer up, they will also need to ensure that they are able to manage any future financial consequences as the government has now confirmed that the funding is for one year only.”