Council Declares Itself "UK's Low Tax Borough"

Council tax to be cut by 3% for sixth year

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has declared itself the UK's "low tax borough" as it unveils plans to cut tax for the sixth year out of seven and freeze parking charges.

While most household bills continue to soar, H&F has announced its intention to buck the national trend by cutting council tax by 3% again this April.

This reduction will see H&F taxpayers paying the third lowest council tax in Britain. The council says this means the tax will have fallen by 17% since 2007 if the latest reduction is approved at a budget meeting in February. Pay and display and permit parking charges are also set to be frozen.

H&F Council claims the secret of its low-tax/high-performing services is mainly down to a relentless private sector ethos that means the council is now more" lean, agile and in tune with residents' concerns" than ever before.

Senior management costs have been reduced by half, debt repayments to the banks have also halved and office accommodation costs have tumbled by more than a third.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, said: “A radical evolution has seen the council transformed from a cumbersome and bureaucratic place into a lean and dynamic organisation. From a lower cost base, we are now able to respond rapidly to the needs of our customers - just like the best companies in the private sector do."

The council's approach has won praise from Matthew Elliott, Founder of the Taxpayers' Alliance, Britain's non-partisan grassroots campaign for lower taxes. He says: " Cllr Nicholas Botterill and his team should be heartily congratulated for managing to cut council tax so consistently over so many years. Hammersmith & Fulham truly is a shining example of a low tax borough.

" Other local authorities up and down the UK should learn from them, follow their example, and deliver better services and lower council tax for their residents."

January 11, 2013