Merton confirms council tax for 2004/05

Merton Council has agreed a council tax rise of 6.2 per cent following full council on 3 March.

This means band D households will pay just over £4 more a month for council services, with a rise from £908.50 to £965.16, before the precept added by the Greater London Authority.

Merton’s council tax rise contrasts favourably to outer London neighbours who have announced increases of over 7 per cent in Croydon and Sutton and 6.98 per cent in Kingston.

Councillor Andrew Judge, Leader of the Council said: ‘We have carried out our public promise to residents to set a council tax no higher than the middle of outer London boroughs.

‘The advantage for residents is that for the second year running we have a delivered a percentage increase lower than our neighbours in outer London. We managed this lower increase by continuing to work through our rigorous budget process in order to identify further savings and increases in income. It is this that has enable us to reduce the increase to 6.2%.

He continued: ‘Our recent residents’ survey proves that in most areas we are better than last year and better than the average across London. But we are not complacent: we know that we have to invest more to deliver quality services.

“This budget is based on residents priorities. It includes investment in the issues that matter to most residents such as:
· Neighbourhood wardens
· Environmental nuisance enforcement and clean ups in streets and places of public access
· Cleaner streets through better supervision, accountability to local residents and intensive treatment of dirt
· Re-investment in the park wardens service
· Recycling
· Libraries and education services

He concluded: ‘This is the finely balanced outcome of a budget approach that touches addresses all issues. It is the best that can be achieved this year.’


Note to Editors: A leaflet explaining how to apply for council tax reductions will be sent out with every council tax bill. In addition, the April/May issue of Merton’s community magazine, ‘My Merton’ will include a double-page feature to explain the council tax breakdown.