Harlow vows 'streetlight switch on', under plans to raise council tax


Harlow Council has pledged to turn streetlights back on after outlining budget proposals that would see council tax raised by 1.5% - an increase of 7p extra a week for the average Harlow household.

Since March 2014 certain streetlights in the area have been turned off between 12midnight and 5am seven days a week under the policy of Essex CC, which owns the streetlights, in an attempt to save £100,000 a year.

The proposed 1.5% council tax increase will generate £100,000, Harlow officials said, which will be passed on to the county council to ensure that the town’s street lights are switched on at night seven days a week.

Plans to increase on Harlow Council’s share of council tax for 2015/16 - currently £17 of every £100 collected - will be recommended to cabinet on 29 January 2015 and council on 5 February 2015.

Cllr Mike Danvers, cabinet member for resources, said: 'We have looked at every single council budget to see where money can be saved and see how we can fund services, protect jobs and meet residents’ priorities following last year’s public consultation. This year we have also managed to protect all services from closure and cuts which I don’t think will be the case for many other councils. We are proposing a balanced budget while meeting significant cuts as a result of reduced grants from the Government.

'We are very aware that the Government’s on-going cuts in the funding of the council means that tough decisions will continue to be taken in the coming years and we will continue to do what we can to protect those services which are most important to residents.'

The budget plans also include transferring £1m to invest in economic regeneration to support local employment opportunities and improving the town’s infrastructure, freezing neighbourhood shopping car park fees for the second year running and ensuring there are no compulsory redundancies.

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