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Monday 20th February 2012 | 18:34
Westminster Council press release
Comment by Cllr Colin Barrow, Leader of Westminster Council:
"We have just announced that we will be freezing our council tax for a record fifth year in a row, whilst at the same time responding to the concerns of our residents by putting an additional £2 million back in to street cleansing for the coming year.
"We’re doing this at a time when the forecasters are predicting five years of no growth in public spending on top of a necessary, but tough 27% reduction in council funding over four years. But it is possible to improve services while not increasing taxation.
"Westminster success in managing the balance between tax and spending comes down to four things; a focus on daily efficiency; clear priorities; innovation in delivery and political courage.
"That’s not to say that we haven’t cut things, because we have, but these reductions have been in lower priority areas. Nearly 80 per cent of the cuts have come from the back office. In 2011/12 alone we will have delivered £60 million in savings and next year we are confident our approach will see us find a further £23 million.
"I am proud of the fact that we have continued to prioritise essential services and benefits for those most in need, whilst ensuring resources and finances are deployed efficiently.
"And as a politician, I know that this determination to do better with less is welcomed and respected by the people we serve. The evidence that we treat their money like our own underpins our authority to government our communities."