Many local authorities are using the excuse of cuts in central government grants to increase Council Tax. But some are actually getting on with delivering good services without reaching into taxpayers' pockets for even more cash.
The City of Westminster has frozen council tax for the sixth year in a row. Taking inflation into account, this amounts to a 23 per cent real terms cut over six years. The freeze will give Westminster the lowest Council Tax in the country and has been made possible by outsourcing, sharing senior staff with neighbouring councils and trimming direct funding of the arts.
As Westminster councillor J P Floru said:
Why not use the greater efficiency of the private sector to deliver public services? It is a complete mystery. Westminster also achieved substantial savings by merging administrative jobs with neighbouring Wandsworth and Kensington & Chelsea – what are other councils waiting for?