Hackney council tax freeze to continue

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe - Credit: Hackney Council - submitted

Hackney Council approved plans to freeze council tax for the eighth year in a row last night.

This means the average cost of a Band D property will remain £1,301.45 a year.

Despite having its budget slashed by £10million due to government cuts, and after huge reductions in the previous two years (£33million and £22million respectively), the council’s priorities include tackling homelessness and keeping streets clean.

The council will be investing £800,000 in fostering project Looked after Children and £500,000 in combating homelessness.

It will also be maintaining essential services including spending £744,000 on weekday litter picking and £300,000 on removing fly posters and graffiti.

Another objective in the budget is to offer cycle training for 1,800 people, including training for 1,400 schoolchildren and 300 adults.

From April, the council will be responsible for a public health budget of £29m which will be transferred from the Department of Health and will involve work to improve medical care and tackle health inequalities.

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Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: “We have a duty to try to assist hard-pressed residents already struggling with pay freezes and the rising costs of energy and food.

“If we were to raise the council tax by just two per cent, the government would deduct half of that from the grant we receive… any tax rise above two per cent must now, by law, be subject to a costly local referendum, and local people may well reject any proposed increase.”

“Given those facts, it makes sense to keep Hackney’s share of the council tax at the same level again this year.”

Opposition councillor Linda Kelly backed the freeze.