Wandsworth Council already sets the lowest Council Tax in Britain and is freezing this year’s bills. Here their leader Cllr Edward Lister says they could do even better without he "dead weight" of the Brown Government.

When times are hard the best bit of news residents can hear from their local authority is that they are not going to be hit in the pocket with unaffordable council tax demands.

For Conservative councils, getting it right can be a very simple way of demonstrating the difference between efficient local administrations and a wasteful, under-performing government.

Wandsworth Conservatives have just announced budget proposals which will ensure the tax in our borough remains the UK’s lowest.

We are freezing our bills for the second year running – and with Boris breaking with Mayoral convention and also keeping the lid on spending – there’s a real Conservative message here for voters.

You’ll pay £682 for a Typical Band D property in Wandsworth including the Mayor’s precept.  I’m sure
like many councils we could do even better if we could get rid of the dead weight of Brown’s government.

It’s no wonder public spending has soared. Brown’s people have a
completely different mindset to Conservatives. For them it’s about
process – making sure we are working with the right partners, producing
the most perfect plans and above all slavishly adhering to their
political objectives.

For Conservatives it’s about performance. We just want to get on with
running cost-effective local services for our taxpayers. You can get
rid of a lot of waste in Whitehall by reining in the bureaucrats whose
aim in life is to come up with new ways of spending taxpayers’ money.

There’s lots of areas of the public sector that councils like
Wandsworth could run more efficiently and at a lower cost – the local
Primary Care Trust for one. It needs a new contract between councils
and their taxpayers that says these are the services we will run, this
is what we will deliver and here’s how much it will cost.

This would be real devolution with lots of room for different service
models – and not every council would measure up. But it would
re-establish the vital connections between what councils do and what
their customers pay.

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