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LOCAL AUTHORITIES SET TO DELIVER AVERAGE 4% COUNCIL TAX BILLS

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The first indications of the pressures on local authorities and increases in council tax have today been revealed i...
The first indications of the pressures on local authorities and increases in council tax have today been revealed in a snapshot survey by the Local Government Association.

An analysis of 112 councils across England show that the average council tax increase in England will be around 4%.

The survey of 112 council tax setting authorities from across England reveals that:

* 28% have set council tax below 3% with 4.5% of these setting council tax at 0% or below

* 70% have set council tax increases of between 3.1% and 5%

Local Government Association chair Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said:

'Councils are championing the interests of local residents and are doing everything in their power to keep council tax down.

'The money given by central government to most councils was better than originally proposed yet it still left over half of all councils with social services responsibilities with a grant increase of 2% or less. However, the settlement included no funding for demographic change such as the increasing number of vulnerable elderly people and more people with mental and physical disabilities requiring care and this will lead to reducations in some services.

'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 reductions. It is a credit to local authorities that despite difficulties, councils have managed to keep increases so low.

'There is£2.5bn spent on civil servants issuing directives and guidance, prescribing performance indicators, overseeing bid funding schemes and regulating and inspecting local authorities. By cutting down on this bureaucracy, the money could then be ploughed back into front line services.'

Council tax increases figures

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