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Bonkers Blog March 2017

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29 March - Council Tax. Compared to elsewhere, Bexley slips again

I searched through all 32 London boroughs’ websites yesterday looking for their 2017/18 Council Tax rates. Hammersmith & Fulham and Richmond upon Thames are still showing the 2016/17 figures. I thought Newham might be too but their table is up to date but wrongly labelled.

Newham (Labour controlled) and Hillingdon (Conservative) are alone in not raising their tax and as a result have both jumped up the London tax league table. Hillingdon actually does rather better than the table suggests, they offer a discount for households which include residents over 65 years old.

Bexley Council which was elected in 2014, in part because of its spurious claim to be a low tax borough, came within eight pence of slipping from 24th to 25th position making them comparatively more expensive than ever before.
Low tax

2014 election leaflet. Bexley, a low tax borough. Not!

When Bexley Conservatives lost power in 2002 the borough was in 15th place, that is 17 London boroughs, more than half of them, were more expensive.

Labour’s last budget in 2006 took Bexley to 24th place, only eight boroughs were more expensive. Hillingdon, £15 more expensive at Band D, was in 25th position.

The Tories made a great deal out of what they portrayed as Labour waste, but in eleven years they have improved matters not one jot. As In Bexley, the Tories took control of Hillingdon in 2006 and now levy a Council Tax which is £132 a year cheaper and instead of a £15 margin between Bexley and the next worst it is down to a few coppers.

Bexley Council is not as clever as it claims to be. What did Teresa O’Neill achieve with all those cuts and charges? A refusal to accept growth until very recently has proved to be very costly.


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