While the majority of Londoners face a 5% hike in bills, Tower Hamlets and Westminster will see the lowest council tax increase in London.
Tower Hamlets Council has announced a ‘freeze’ on council tax, meaning that residents will only face a 2% rise in bills to cover the borough’s adult social care precept to help deal with increased demands on services for older and vulnerable residents.
The announcement comes amid nationwide increases in council taxes, as local authorities try to protect services despite the rising cost of living for residents.
The County Councils Network (CCN) analysed the budget plans of 114 out of the 152 councils in England with responsibility for social care that have published details so far.
It found that 113 are planning to increase council tax, with roughly three-quarters proposing a 5% rise from April and just one – Central Bedfordshire – keeping tax at its current rate.
While residents of bankrupt Croydon borough will be hit by a record 15% rise in bills, those in Tower Hamlets and Westminster will see the lowest increase in London.
The total amount of council tax payable for a Band D property in Tower Hamlets is £1,520 in 2022/23, meaning a 2% rise will add approximately £30 a year from April.
Mayor Rahman wrote on Twitter: ‘We have decided to freeze council tax in Tower Hamlets. The cost of living crisis is spiralling out of control – the last thing our residents need are extra bills.’
The adult social care precept refers to an additional charge to help councils with adult social care responsibilities. The 2% duty will raise £2.5 million to help deal with increased demands on services for older and vulnerable residents across the borough.
Mayor Rahman has withdrawn £23 million of the council’s reserves in one go to keep council tax bills down and pay for a cost-of-living support package, as well as achieving other manifesto promises.
The budget will be finalised in March and includes £5.7 million for Tower Hamlets to become the first London borough to extend universal free school meals to secondary school students.
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