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Full story: Royal Borough council tax reduced for sixth consecutive year despite calls for freeze

Full story: Royal Borough council tax reduced for sixth consecutive year despite calls for freeze

Philip Dewey

Calls to freeze council tax by the Royal Borough's opposition fell on deaf ears as a reduction was passed for the sixth consecutive year.

The council's budget for 2015/16 was passed at a full council meeting last night (Tuesday), where cabinet member for finance Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) put forward the changes.

Residents will now pay 2.1 per cent less tax than they did in 2014/15 with the bill for a band D council tax property paying a bill of £906.95.

Cllr Dudley said: "We want to give every person the best opportunity in life to advance themselves, it's our residents' money to spend not the politicians'.

"We will also be making improvements to services through efficiency savings. This is a budget for hardworking residents of Windsor and Maidenhead and our retired residents living on a fixed income."

In her opposition speech, Cllr Lynne Jones (Independent, Old Windsor) called for council tax to be frozen in order to prevent a knock-on effect on council services.

She said: "Council tax reduction means a reduction in services and a £1.3m cut in revenue. Can we sustain a cut to council tax when we have to use £53m of council reserves to keep up with the increased demand?

"The minority who are the most vulnerable in the borough are the ones who will need these services the most. Wouldn't it be more prudent to freeze council tax to avoid pressures on officers and services."

Cllr Jones was shouted down by Conservative members of the council with Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray) saying that no cuts had been made in Budget and Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park) criticising the opposition for having no solutions other than raising council tax.

The Budget was passed with a majority at the meeting which took place at Maidenhead Town Hall.

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