'Councils have been championing the interests of local residents and are doing everything in their power to keep council tax as low as possible. But very real difficulties remain.
'Although local government is delivering more efficiency savings than any other part of the public sector this has left very little room for many authorities to manoeuvre between higher council tax and service cuts.
'There is also the increasing demand such as rising volumes of waste and the rising costs of private sector street lighting, road maintenance, bus contracts, and new waste disposal contracts which are rising far higher than headline inflation rates.'
* The final financial settlement for local authorities was laid in the House of Commons by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister today and is available here.