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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - IT'S CALLED LOCAL DEMOCRACY

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Contrary to LGC's news story 'Counties succumb to council tax pressure' (LGC, 28 January), Hertfordshire CC is comm...
Contrary to LGC's news story 'Counties succumb to council tax pressure' (LGC, 28 January), Hertfordshire CC is committed to keeping its council tax as low as possible while maintaining excellent levels of service delivery.

We have no 'plans to flout the government's capping threats'. Instead, we are in the process of setting a responsible budget based on extensive consultation with local people and in the context of a very disappointing settlement from central government.

We are making£8.5m efficiency savings. This will ensure we are able to set a reasonable council tax, while meeting the needs of local people.

The budget report from which LGC quotes has set out the options the council was faced with based on the information available from the government last December. We have been working over the last two months to keep our council tax increase at a reasonable level and last week received the final settlement from the government. The council will decide its council tax on 10 February.

Hertfordshire has low Band D council tax levels when compared to its neighbours. We have achieved this through a rather undramatic process that involves no 'threats' or 'flouting'.

It is called local democracy and we plan to stick with it.

David Beatty (Con)

Executive member for resources, Hertfordshire CC

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