Merton has frozen council tax for the fourth year running, following the decision by council to agree its budget for 2014-15 on Wednesday 5 March.
The balanced budget means residents will benefit from the council freezing the Merton element of their council tax for the fourth year in a row. It also ensures that services for the vulnerable are protected as much as possible, as well as the statutory services the council provides to keep the borough a good place to live.
The council’s sound medium-term financial management allows residents who are up to date with their council tax to continue to benefit from the free bulky waste service.
In another major move, the budget also highlights capital funds to replace Morden Park Pool. The council will be asking residents about what they want in their new leisure centre over the coming weeks.
The council’s ability to be flexible and innovative means that Merton will continue to be committed to keeping all its libraries open when many councils have closed theirs. Through developing an award-winning business-like and sustainable model, the council has already extended library opening hours, ensured greater staff support at West Barnes Library and refurbished Wimbledon Library.
The council is also continuing to invest in the borough’s school children, expanding its best schools to provide excellent primary school education local to where the children live. Looking to the future, the council is planning for the inevitable rise in demand for secondary school places.
Merton Council cabinet member for finance, Councillor Mark Allison, said: “By planning our finances over a longer term, we are able to freeze council tax for a fourth year in a row and protect the most important services we provide like libraries and refuse collection, expanding our schools and rebuilding Morden pool. Residents are at the heart of the decisions we make and the services we prioritise in these challenging economic times.”
Merton’s full budget can be found at: merton.gov.uk/budget