Friday, February 20, 2009

Conservatives Keep Council Tax Pledge

Conservatives are sticking to an election pledge to keep council tax under the rate of inflaion. This year’s council tax rise will be the lowest in the history of the council at 2.94%.

It has been a challenging year for Southampton. We are faced with the backdrop of worst recession in recent times, a miserly funding settlement from the government and falling income revenue and investment revenues.

Chronic underfunding from the Government means that the city council faces huge budgetary pressures each year. We face cuts in real terms to the funding received from central government. The dismal financial settlement means added pressure on the council tax and on local residents.

When the Southampton Conservatives took office in May we were faced a budget blackhole of over 13m. We have been working harder to deliver more for less. In the last year we identified over £11m of efficiencies and savings.

As well as balancing the books, by prioritising and redirecting spending we will also invest millions of pounds more in front line services, such as schools, road repairs and the city’s infrastructure, improving street lighting and safety, safeguarding vulnerable children and reducing the financial burden on pensioners.

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