High Road tax divide is clear

by Nadia Sam-Daliri The great divide which splits the High Road between two boroughs once more leaves residents on unequal terms as one authority hikes up Council Tax while the other freezes it. Brent Council bosses voted on Monday for a

by Nadia Sam-Daliri

The great divide which splits the High Road between two boroughs once more leaves residents on unequal terms as one authority hikes up Council Tax while the other freezes it.

Brent Council bosses voted on Monday for a 1.9 per cent increase on last year's rate, despite London Mayor, Boris Johnson pleading with local authorities to lessen the burden on families as the recession bites.

Across the border, during Camden Council's simultaneous full council meeting, members chose to freeze the rate in what council leader cllr Keith Moffitt, said was a result of 'listening to our residents.' He said: "Camden residents told us that the single thing the council could do to help them get through difficult times was to keep their Council Tax bills down.


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"As the recession bites further more help may be needed. That's why we have allocated additional funding for two years."

Cllr Ann John, Labour opposition leader in Brent, said: "The Lib Dem administration said they would freeze Council Tax - well they've increased it and imposed a series of stealth taxes in the form of increased fees and charges on just about everybody."

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But Cllr Paul Lorber, Brent Council leader, refuted her claims adding that a direct comparison with Camden is not realistic.

He said: "Camden has reserves of about �80 million. Their starting point is different to ours. If you don't pay for something you can't provide it. I do not accept that people's quality of life will go down."

Charges on Band D properties in Brent will now increase from �1,343 to �1,369 per year. In Camden they will stick at �1,331 for the next two years.

Mr Johnson recently announced that the GLA's charge will remain at �310.

This means that Brent Council actually increased their charge by 2.5 per cent, with the mayor's precept knocking it down slightly.

Efficiency savings of �9.5million have enabled the Camden Lib Dem administration to keep the current rate.

nadia.sam-daliri@archant.co.uk

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