Baroness Warsi, the Conservative Party Co Chairman, has written to Conservative councillors to stress that the Council Tax freeze will be a key issue in this year's local elections and and to urge them to take up the offer.

She says:

I am writing to you as we enter another important period for the Party. After the amazing effort last year that saw us gain council seats and a number of councils against the odds, crucial elections are
coming round once again. We need to continue to show that the Conservative Party has the right ideas for these difficult times and is on the side of hard-working people.

Noting that "one Labour action – forcing the doubling of council tax over 13 years – is proving a particular burden on household budgets, with the average bill totalling £120 a month for Band D homes" she goes on:

As Conservatives we pride ourselves on delivering more for less – and councils have always led the way. Year after year, Conservative councils across the country are getting more bang for their buck –
rooting out waste, scouring out inefficiencies. No wonder residents are more satisfied in Conservative-run local authorities.

One key thing local authorities are doing right now to help people with the cost of living is taking up the Government’s offer to freeze council tax again this year. The Government’s £675 million fund to
halt further increases is shaving an average of £72 off the annual household bill, and delivers on pledges the Conservatives made before the general election.

Although it is early in the budget-setting process, I am delighted that more than 150 local authorities have indicated their intention to sign up to providing this much-needed help to their local residents.

I want to encourage more councils to follow suit. In doing so, Conservative councils can help families, clean up Labour’s mess, and continue showing that the Conservatives are making a real difference.

This action will provide a strong message on the doorstep over the coming years – that we the Conservatives keep to our promises, and are on the side of hard-working families and pensioners.

In the vast majority of the places where local elections are being held this year this will be a strong message for the Conservatives. But there is bad news from Dover District Council where the Conservative-run council is contemplating a 3.45% Council Tax rise. This would put them into blatant referendum dodging territory. I hope they think again.