Merton sets council tax rate

Merton Council last night agreed the recommended council tax increase of 3.9%, which is in line with the expected average increase in England, and the expected increase in State Pensions from April 1st 2008. It is also lower than the current rate of inflation (January 4.1%).

The recommendations for the budget were agreed at Cabinet on 11 February and had final sign off from full Council last night, Wednesday 5 March. The figures show that despite being dealt the minimum grant increase from central government, Merton is still keeping its council tax increases as low as possible.

The increase of 3.9%, the expected average rate of increase across England, will make the Merton Council tax element for a band D property £1,091.49, an increase of just over £3 per household per month.

Crime, traffic congestion, the Street Scene and recycling, and education standards are among the key concerns for residents where money will be injected through this years budget to improve and add to the services and programmes already in place.

Now that the council tax is set, for the first time the council tax booklet and bills will be delivered along side the council’s A to Z of most requested services. This means that residents can look at what they are paying, and also get an understanding of where some of their money goes.

Councillor David Williams, Leader of Merton Council said:

‘ We are always striving to put our residents first and offer them the best value for their money. In light of the disastrous financial grant the government has given Merton for the coming years, balancing our budget was not easy. Keeping the needs of our residents top priority has ensured that we have made savings where appropriate to keep the cost of council tax down.

” We will be making around £8.9 million of savings this coming year proving that we are becoming a fitter, faster and more focused council, really working to give residents good quality services at the best value.”

-Ends-

Notes:

Council tax workings:

The Merton element of council tax is to increase by 3.9% to £1,091.49. Merton has to pay other additional precepts to organisations such as the Greater London Authority which brings the total for band D council taxpayers to £1401.31, an overall increase of only 3.5%.