COUNCIL tax will not rise next year, for the second consecutive year. And it is the third year running that a tax freeze has been implemented for people over 65.
Councillor Jonathan Bianco, Conservative cabinet member for finance, said in a speech delivering the budget last week: "This is the second year in a row and is an outstanding achievement, even if I say so myself.
"We have identified savings to balance the books and still leave a little for new initiatives and we are in a strong place going forward."
Among capital expenditure projects, £239,000 will be put towards staffing three new youth centres - in Hayes, Ruislip and Northwood - and £200,000 will go to providing burglar alarms for the over 65s.
Hillingdon Council is still struggling to reclaim the £3million it is owed by Whitehall to offset the money it spends on dealing with asylum-seekers who arrive through Heathrow Airport. But with predictions this week of deep local authority funding cuts during the next two years, the council is tightening its belt, and some job losses are expected.
Councillor Bianco said: "Efficiency of services is our prioritisation. There remains much duplication within the council and we aim to address this and improve our services."
Motions put forward by the Labour group to prevent the outsourcing of council tax recovery, so saving £1m over five years, were rejected, as was an amendment put forward by the Liberal Democrats.
Council leader Ray Puddifoot said of the council tax outsourcing: "We will look at more of these areas as we go forward. We are not about employing people, we are about providing a service."
Hillingdon Council said it had no figure to put on the number of staff who could be facing redundancies, only that it was currently undertaking a review of all services.
COUNCILLOR allowances have also been frozen for 2010/11.
During the debate last Thursday, the Conservatives again referred to the fact the council had the eighth highest efficiency savings of any local authority in the country.
Responding to a jibe from Labour council-lor Tony Eginton that Hillingdon's cabinet allowances were among the highest in London, council leader Ray Puddifoot (Con) said: "It's a pity we don't have performance-related pay."
As leader, Mr Puddifoot is entitled to £61,000 of special allowances to help him perform his duties, while cabinet members Douglas Mills and David Simmonds can claim £46,000 and £55,000 respectively.