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Bromley approves 3.99% council tax hike

PUBLISHED: 15:29 23 February 2016 | UPDATED: 15:29 23 February 2016

Bromley civic centre

Bromley civic centre

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The rise includes a two per cent social care precept

Bromley councillors last night approved a 3.99 per cent increase in council tax across the borough.

The rise includes a two per cent social care precept for cost pressures in adult social care, as suggested by chancellor George Osborne in his autumn statement at the end of last year, and a 1.99 per cent increase in the council’s slice of the tax.

When taking into account a 6.44 per cent reduction in the Greater London Authority element of the tax, it ultimately means those living in band D properties will pay 42p a week more.

Council leader Stephen Carr said: “We have had to make this increase in council tax this year to help balance the budget, and have introduced the two per cent precept allowed by the chancellor to help meet the costs of care as our population ages and more people have complex care needs.

“This is particularly acute in Bromley where we have a larger-than-average ageing population.

“During our budget consultation last year many residents again said they understood the need for a rise in council tax to help protect essential services.

“This year Councillors believed Bromley received a particularly harsh reduction in settlement funding so, with the support of local MPs, I lobbied senior Ministers to make a case for a fairer settlement.

“This has resulted in some transitional funding from central government, but as it is one-off money over two years, the council will still need to make substantial savings in the medium and longer term.”

The nature of the budget agreed by the authority is £19m of cuts on top of the council tax increase, which Labour leader Angela Wilkins criticised after her group’s alternative budget was dismissed by Conservative councillors.

She said: “It is true that David Cameron is bleeding local government dry.

“But the other truth is that Bromley is a relatively wealthy council – many of these cuts could have been avoided and can be avoided in the next few years.

“And they can be avoided without spending the reserves, but by getting the balancing right between providing services and by not buying yet more commercial properties.”

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