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Council Tax

Volume 560: debated on Monday 18 March 2013

Councils are in the process of setting their budgets for the coming financial year, and we will, as a Department, publish official figures in due course. As well as recognising areas such as Lancashire that have done superb work in cutting council tax, as has Dorset by 5% this year, I can confirm that Northamptonshire county council currently has the lowest council tax of any county without a separate fire authority.

Northamptonshire county council is proud to have the lowest county-council council tax in the whole of England, and it has frozen its council tax for the past three years. Will my hon. Friend the Minister congratulate Councillor Jim Harker and his team of Conservative councillors on Conservative-controlled Northamptonshire county council on delivering the most affordable county-council council tax in the whole country?

I am absolutely delighted to give those congratulations. It is superb to see Conservative county councils across the country, of which my hon. Friend’s is a particularly good example, working hard to deliver cost-effective services for their residents. It is also appropriate to say, while I am at the Dispatch Box, that his district council should be commended for the excellent work it is doing on freezing council tax. It is taking this financial settlement in the right way and looking to the future in terms of how it can deliver growth for its area and thereby create real benefit for its residents locally.