Cutting the Council Tax – let’s hope more follow Hammersmith’s approach

Conservative Hammersmith and Fulham have got off to a great start, by cutting the Council tax and improving services. When you take over from Labour that is not difficult.

They are doing it by market testing many of the Council’s activities, and reducing the administrative overhead. They are using the large savings they are making to boost neighbourhood policing as well as reducing the tax bill. They are going to promote home ownership and help people on lower incomes to buy their own place.Their aim is to get their tax level down to Wandsworth levels. Judging by the intensity of Labour protest in the Commons, Labour MPs realise this is the way for a Conservative Council to be popular and to remain in?? office, as Wandsworth and Westminster have shown. Labour MPs never bother to criticise Conservative Councils that put the tax up, because Labour always approves of charging people more for everything provided by the public sector.

I hope other Conservative Councils will set themselves the same objective. They too could impose a staff freeze at the Town Hall, and could market test more of their service provision. People are sick and tired of Council tax rises, with endless glossy brochures, networking committees and busybody programmes, anti motorist road changes and the rest that comes from the high spenders.

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One Comment

  1. Posted January 19, 2007 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this.

    When we campaigned against Labour and took control of H&F Council, we promised to cut tax. A year later that is what we have done. It was exactly what it said on the tin – what is interesting is that people seem surprised that we should deliver on our tax promise!

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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