Luton Council’s tax went up by less than five per cent this year, maintaining its long-standing position as the lowest in Bedfordshire. The average rise for the three years of the current Liberal Democrat administration has been 4.7%. The average rise for the previous three years under Labour was 9%.
Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Howes, executive member with special responsibility for the council’s finances said: “Our first Liberal Democrat budget, in 2004, was centred around improvements to the local environment. In this year’s budget, we’re continuing our investment in making Luton a cleaner and greener place.
“Our second Liberal Democrat budget, in 2005, was centred around projects to transform the town and improve the efficiency of the council. In this year’s budget we’re continuing that investment. Over the next 18 months those improvements to the town will become apparent to everyone.”
Spending on key services like local schools and social services continues to increase. Luton’s Liberal Democrats have increased social services spending every year. By £2.6M in 2004, by £3.4M in 2005 and by £5.6M for 2006.
Lib Dem leader of the council David Franks said “We have set another balanced budget while continuing to protect vital services. We are making a further big investment in Luton’s transformation. But we have managed to keep the tax increase to under five per cent.”