And H&F says many other charges will be cut or frozen
Hammersmith & Fulham Council has announced it is intending to cut council taxes by 1%.
H&F’s new Labour administration says it also proposing to abolish the £12 per hour charge for vital home care needed by elderly and disabled people.
It also intends to freeze many council charges including those for parking and school meals, and cut some charges, such as meals on wheels and bulky waste collections, which will fall by 10%.
Last month the government announced that it will cut funding to Hammersmith & Fulham Council by 4.7% but this rises to a cut that is over 10% if ring-fenced budgets and new statutory obligations are added into the list of the council’s financial commitments.
The council says it has been able to deliver residents the benefits of cuts to council tax and council charges by making a wide range of savings including cutting the number of senior managers; cutting the costs of the office space; scrapping council magazines and reducing its PR budget; and negotiating more effectively with suppliers and property developers.
Council leader Cllr Stephen Cowan says: " These are tough times for our residents and we wanted to put money back into their pockets just as we said we would last May.
" In addition to cutting council tax, we will be freezing hundreds of council charges such as on parking and school meals, we will cut meals on wheels charges by 33% and abolish the £12 per hour charge disabled and elderly residents had to pay for vital home care.
"We have balanced the books and are even putting extra police on the streets by slashing wasteful expenditure, negotiating more effectively with suppliers and developers and making the council more efficient. We will continue to deliver ever better value to our residents."
A final decision on the council’s budget for 2015/16, including council tax rates, will be made at the annual budget meeting on February 25. Before that, detailed proposals will be discussed in public at a series of policy and accountability meetings throughout January.
Full details of the dates and times of these meetings, plus their detailed agendas, can be found on H&F Council's website.
January 7, 2015