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Council tax set to be frozen 9.02.11

Council tax is set to be frozen in Sutton for the second year in a row.

The administration is recommending freezing Sutton's part of the council tax bill to avoid adding to residents' burdens at a time of financial hardship.  Deciding not to increase council tax in 2011/12 also qualifies the borough to take advantage of a special £2.1m one-off grant from the government.

If the proposal is approved by the full council on 7 March, it would leave the full-year charge for Sutton's part of the council tax at £1,140.89 for each Band D home.

Council leaders say they are able to recommend freezing the tax again because of the encouraging results emerging from the Smarter Services Sutton reviews being conducted right across the council on how the council can deliver services to residents of the borough in different ways that are more affordable.

Cllr John Drage, Executive Member for Finance and Efficiency, said: "We realise that everyone in Sutton will be feeling the pinch and that's why we've decided to reassure residents that we won't be increasing our share of the council tax bill again this year.

"We are facing some tough decisions but we felt it right to listen to what residents have been saying and freeze council tax for the second year running.

"We know from our budget consultation exercise that people like living in Sutton and want the council to do everything it can to be even more efficient and avoid waste before we cut any frontline services."

The freeze comes despite the council's formula grant being reduced by 13.3 per cent in 2011/12 and a further 9.4 per cent in 2012/13. With cuts also being made in other grant, Sutton will lose nearly £11m in funding from central government in 2011/12 and over £16m in 2012/13.

This comes on top of Sutton yet again suffering one of the poorest funding settlements in London, with residents getting £284 per head of population against an average of £536 across the capital.

Last updated: Tuesday, 08 March 2011

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