HOUNSLOW Council has pledged a £2million boost for services, despite freezing its council tax for the sixth successive year.
The cash will help the council keeps a series of pledges.
These include taking action on crime with more uniformed officers and CCTV, pumping extra money into schools, forming a new partnership with business and housing associations creating jobs and building homes, and tackling graffiti, litter and flytipping.
As a result of the council-tax freeze, approved by the Labour-led council on Tuesday, a family in an average Band D home faces a bill of £1,397.37 for the coming year, which includes the Greater London Authority precept.
Council leader Jagdish Sharma said the freeze was necessary because of the difficult economic situation many residents were experiencing.
“It will help people and families in tough financial times,” he said. “This figure has been our council tax for the past six years, which gives a saving to the average council tax payer of £290 a year, when taking inflation into account.”
Of the £2m cash injection for services, Mr Sharma said: “Local people want to see us make improvements in areas that matter to them.
“That is why we will be investing even more in services that people say are important to them.”
The Conservative opposition, however, called for a cut in the council tax of 2.2 per cent, which would be offset by a £2.1m VAT refund the council has been awarded.
The Tories argued that the VAT refund was money that belonged to the borough’s residents and should be moved out of the council’s reserves and given back to council tax payers.
The amendment was rejected, however, and Labour councillor Theo Dennison described the suggestion as a ‘cynical and dishonest’ attempt to garner favour with tax payers.