Councils praised for freezing tax levels

IMPRESSED Eric Pickles
IMPRESSED Eric Pickles

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COMMUNITIES Minister Eric Pickles has praised Hampshire County Council and Fareham and Havant borough councils for pledging to freeze next year’s council tax.

New figures show 219 councils are intending to accept a government grant offer and freeze their council tax for 2013-14.

It will be the third year in a row the grant has been in place.

Mr Pickles said: ‘I’m pleased that an increasing number of councils are taking up the government’s deal to freeze their residents’ council tax.

‘I encourage all authorities still to decide to follow their example.

‘Those that freeze bills are making a real difference to families and those on fixed incomes, such as pensioners, with their cost of living.’

He added that all councils should be looking to make sensible savings to their budgets and follow every one of the Fifty Ways to Save that were published by the government earlier in the year.

Councils account for a quarter of public spending.