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Tower Hamlets party leaders to debate the budget tonight

PUBLISHED: 18:00 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:39 05 October 2010

PARTY leaders will be going head-to-head as the Town Hall s budget goes under the spotlight tonight. The ruling Labour party are proposing to freeze council tax in 2010-11, with the yearly council tax due on an average Band D property remaining at £88

PARTY leaders will be going head-to-head as the Town Hall's budget goes under the spotlight tonight.

The ruling Labour party are proposing to freeze council tax in 2010-11, with the yearly council tax due on an average 'Band D' property remaining at £880.52 starting on April 1 this year.

And despite a £2m deficit there are promises of no cuts to 'front line' services and instead an extra £9.5m on education, health and social care, crime, environment and roads.

But the opposition parties have been preparing their own alternative budgets to present to Tower Hamlets council tonight.

Included in their proposals, both the Conservatives and the Respect parties say they want to see East End Life scrapped to save some cash.

While the Liberal Democrats want the council free-sheet to become a "no-frills information publication" delivered 12 times a year rather than weekly.

And Lib Dem leader Stephanie Eaton is also proposing the funding of free school meals to all primary school youngsters, with the council paying £2m towards the scheme through a "consolidation" of the council's communications budget.

As part of the Tories' alternative budget, Cllr Tim Archer will be proposing all the borough's councillors take a 10 per cent pay-cut, the council chops its advertising budget by half and shrinks its communications team.

In addition to cutting council tax by one per cent, the Tories are also suggesting the council hands back the keys to Anchorage House, which they claim will save £8m a year.

Meanwhile the Respect party will be insisting tonight that the cash saved from East End Life could be spent on providing more apprenticeships at the Olympics site and more money should be spent to pedestrianise Brick Lane in order to boost tourism.

The meeting kicks-off at 7pm tonight at the Town Hall in Mulberry Place.


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