Council tax frozen in Hackney for the ninth year in a row

Hackney Town Hall

Hackney Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Councillors have approved a £1.1billion budget for 2014/2015 – nearly £500,000 less than last year’s – and froze council tax for a ninth consecutive year.

Mayor Cllr Jules Pipe said: “We have had to make tough decisions and we have seen job losses, in common with many local authorities up and down the country.

“Residents may see the impact of this when they have to wait a little longer for us to resolve non-urgent issues, but our priority over the coming year is to protect the services that matter most to them – to keep our streets clean, keep our parks and libraries open and welcoming, and to care for the most vulnerable members of our community.”

At a council meeting last Wednesday, the Conservative group proposed a £3.1m one-off budget item to help residents losing council tax benefits by clawing back cash spent on controlled parking zone reviews and parks.

Group leader Cllr Simche Steinberger said: “We are very annoyed that the Labour council is cutting council tax benefits for poor people. Tower Hamlets Council is ensuring all the poor families are getting a 100 per cent rebate. ”

The Liberal Democrat group suggested ploughing more money back into the community by supporting voluntary groups, the Citizens Advice Bureau and community advice centres.

Group leader Cllr Ian Sharer said: “They have suffered quite a lot because of cuts and we were looking to put more money into them.

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“That’s the theme of our budgets – people first.”

The amendments proposed by both parties were rejected by the Labour-controlled council.