Mayor's tax to rise again

Council warns that this could result in 140% increase over the last six years....


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The Mayor's final draft budget for 2006/2007 will be presented to the Greater London Assembly on February 15.

The council will set its bills for the coming twelve months on March 9.

Plans by the Mayor to put up his share of the council tax by 16 per cent would mean a 140 per cent rise in costs for Londoners over the last six years reports Wandsworth Council

Londoners in a Band D property currently pay £255 for the Mayor and the Greater London Authority. If the current proposals are approved this sum would increase to £297.

This compares to the £355 charged currently by the council for the cost of providing the full range of local services. This figure has been unchanged for three successive years. Despite the Mayor's year-on-year increases the combined payment of £610 is the lowest in the UK.

Deputy council leader Maurice Heaster pictured left said:
"Every year the Mayor's bills go up. The increases are way ahead of the rate of inflation. If any other local authority in the country failed to control its spending in this way it would be capped by the Government.

"Part of the increase is attributed to the Olympics. This will be a great event for London and the whole country. The Government must set a limit on the amount of spending borne by Londoners in their council tax bills.

"The Mayor also points to the extension of safer neighbourhood teams. But these are still below the numbers promised at a time when Wandsworth is still at least 50 officers short of its proper allocation.

"Wandsworth Council is scrupulous about controlling its spending and keeping council tax bills down. The recent Audit Commission inspections confirmed that no other council in the country provides better value for its residents. Sadly for Londoners the Government provides no effective brake on the spending powers of the Mayor."

October 19, 2005