BOROUGH residents could be in line for a council tax freeze for the next two years.
Hillingdon Council has spent months lobbying the Government to fund the full costs of supporting unaccompanied asylum seeking children - even going to court to get what it felt it was due.
And the council has just learnt it is to get £4million towards the cost of caring for the 1,000 or so such children coming to the borough through Heathrow Airport, the only thing preventing it from offering the zero rise last year.
The £4m represents most of last year's bill for asylum-seeker children, and the same amount will be paid next year and the one after.
Last year's rise was needed to prevent service cuts which would have been needed if the rise had been zero because of the asylum-seeker costs - now with the Government coughing up, borough taxpayers can enjoy both a tax freeze and no threat to services.
Councillor Ray Puddifoot, leader of the council, is delighted and said: "All of our hard work trying to get this money recovered so we can use it for the benefit of Hillingdon residents has finally paid off.
"We will now be able to invest this money as planned, in helping to improve both the environment and services to our residents.
"Although I am delighted to have secured this commitment from the Government, which covers most of the shortfall over the last year, we will continue to press to ensure the funding is agreed for the current and future years.
"This will allow us to set a zero increase in council tax for the next two years, allowing us to help our residents financially at what is a difficult time for all of us.
"I would like to thank council staff, my cabinet colleagues, our three local MPs and Councillor Anthony Way, leader of the Labour group, for their consistent and demonstrable support.
"Above all I would like to thank the residents of Hillingdon who have never lost faith and confidence in us to secure this funding on their behalf."
Mr Way added his own note of delight and said: "It's been a long time coming but this is a significant step forward for everyone living in Hillingdon."
The council used the airport, which falls entirely within the borough, as a key part of its argument for being considered a special case, even taking legal action, spending £63,000 and attending many meetings with ministers and in the House of Lords.