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News and Comment April 2018

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6 April - Bexley; a high tax borough

The annual update of the London Borough Council Tax league table has been left to the very last moment because some Councils are very slow to put the figures on their websites. Even so we have Camden labelling what is obviously the 2018/19 figure as 2017/18 and Islington not showing their 2018 figures at all. That is because the link to this year’s figures (not last year’s which is still there) goes to a beta version of their website which has been off air all day, maybe longer.

The big losers this year are the residents of Greenwich which falls from 10th position to 21st. The winner is Labour controlled Merton which is up from 21st to 15th place. Apart from those two there is little change, just the odd single position climb or fall.

Among those is Bexley which has taken the tumble it so narrowly avoided last year.

In the 2014 election and the one due next month Bexley Conservatives have banged the low tax drum. Like most of what they say it is simply not true.

They like to remind everyone that Labour’s spell in office led to a 40% tax rise in four years and imply it will happen again if they are elected. On the other hand the Tories keep Tweeting that over the past four years Labour Councillors have always voted against increasing budgets. Lies always lead to contradictions.

However the fact remains that Labour’s last budget dropped Bexley from 20th to 24th position in the London tax league table. Not good.

But despite all the service cuts introduced since, the selling off of so many assets from public toilets to town halls and parks, recruiting volunteers to run libraries and taking money from private industry whenever it can, Bexley Council under Conservative control never managed to improve on that 24th position. It was just stuck; until this year that is.

In 2018 Bexley held its share of the Council Tax increase to 3·99%, but similarly rated Councils did better. As a result Bexley has sunk to 25th position. The worst ever and a worse placing than that achieved by the Labour Group the Tories are so keen to criticise.

That’s the way to do it!


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