Tax freeze coincides with election
By Tim Archer
It must be an election year as the Labour-run Tower Hamlets Council has proposed to freeze Council Tax.
Coincidentally, the last time Council Tax was frozen in Tower Hamlets was in 2006, also an election year.
I support freezing council tax this year, and indeed the Conservatives' alternative budget that I presented last year would have cut council tax while spending more on police, litter wardens, animal wardens and CCTV.
This was financed by cutting the excesses of the Town Hall - the amount spent on food for councillors equates to two extra policemen.
What really worries me though is the fact the council admits that whoever wins the election, there will be a black hole in the council's finances to the tune of £18million per year, for the next three-to-five years.
What would I do differently? For a start I'd call time on the £7million spent per year on renting a flash office block that's half empty, when at the same time the council owns dozens of perfectly good empty office buildings in the borough.
I'm afraid, Labour has got the Town Hall finances into a mess, spending beyond their means in the good times leaving themselves with a nasty hangover in these tough times.
Next week I will be presenting the Conservatives' alternative budget at the council's budget setting meeting.
The Conservative budget will, once again, protect frontline services while cutting the wasteful spending at the Town Hall.