Plans to freeze Greenwick Council Tax
By JulieGK | Monday, January 21, 2013, 13:26
Greewich Council is set to meet to decide the Council Tax for the next year.
The plans will freeze Council Tax in Royal Greenwich for the seventh year in a row.
Royal Borough of Greenwich residents are set to benefit from further freezes in Council Tax for the next two years until March 31, 2015 if plans are agreed to finalise budget decisions two years ahead of schedule later this month.
Council Leader Chris Roberts will propose the budget at the Council meeting on January 30.
If passed, this historic decision would mean that Council Tax will have been frozen for 12 of the last 17 years and for seven years in a row.
Earlier this year, the Government's independent District Auditor praised Greenwich's "robust financial management" which has seen front line services expanded despite record £70m of cuts to its funding.
Councillor Chris Roberts, Leader of The Royal Borough of Greenwich said: "For the past decade we have developed a ruthless approach to evaluating costs and savings while protecting our front line services. Even with the record cuts levied upon us by the coalition, we have worked enormously hard to increase library services, build more children's centres and expand provision in leisure, health and in cultural services.
"I am very proud to be able to propose a budget to the Council on 30 January which continues this record while maintaining the freeze on Council Tax. If approved it will ensure local residents continue to pay one of the lowest council tax rates in the country, in return for some of the best local services."
In addition, there will be an investment package of over £8m, the majority of which will provide for a local employment scheme for Greenwich borough residents to assist people to make the transition from benefits into work.
There will be further investment in street cleaning services and the council shall protect its own dedicated police unit within the Violent and Organised Crime Unit which has broken up a number of criminal gangs and reduced gun crime by 36 per cent and knife crime by 33 per cent in the last year alone.
The council will also be working with the police to establish a further team of officers which will be dedicated to adopting a zero tolerance approach to Domestic Violence. Sixty per cent of children in our child protection system come from homes where domestic violence is a factor. While support is often in place for the victim and their children, there is often less focus on the perpetrator. In Greenwich this will stop and the council will buy extra police officers to make sure perpetrators are followed up and dealt with wherever possible.
Councillor Roberts continued: "We are all too aware that the ongoing government cuts will continue to result in more local families turning to us for help. Changes being made from April threaten to drive more families into poverty and this budget will be a forceful response to the cruel nature of the Coalition's policies. This budget will help hundreds of local people back into work and it will also improve local areas and boost the ongoing transformation of the Royal Borough."