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Apr 03 2013

Susan Says: Thousands of Residents Call Harrow Council After Tax Increase

harrow_council_logo2Following the decision of Labour-run Harrow Council to increase council tax by 2%, its call centre and face-to-face advice service was deluged by thousands of residents. In the week beginning 18th March, the Council received over 7,000 calls – more than double the usual number – with an incredible 3,000 upset residents calling on Monday alone. In addition, 3,500 frustrated residents came to the Civic Centre to visit the One-Stop-Shop in person – with 1,000 visiting on Tuesday.

Conservative Group Leader Cllr. Susan Hall said: “Labour’s Leader has insisted that residents agree with his administration’s council tax increase – which has lumbered Harrow with the third highest council tax in London – but the thousands of people calling in to challenge the increase in their bill suggests otherwise. Labour joined a tiny minority of London councils in choosing to increase council tax – turning down a £1 million grant from the Government to help freeze it in the process – and are now seeing the consequences of their decision to hit residents’ pockets.”

Cllr. Paul Osborn, shadow portfolio holder for Transformation, Performance and Communication added: “Despite the huge number of resident phone calls and complaints regarding their council tax increases Labour are still  planning to decimate the call centre and prevent residents from visiting the Council to discuss their complaints. Labour are cutting over half a million pounds from these services over the next four years; meaning that residents
won’t just be paying more council tax, they won’t even be able to call the council to complain about it.

Labour like to boast that Harrow is a listening Council, but this is yet another instance of them sticking their fingers in their ears and doing all they can to avoid listening to our residents.”

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3 comments

  1. Linda Robinson

    Today, I received two envelopes in the post from Harrow Council’s Council Tax Support department. One contained a sheet entitled “Council Tax Reduction Statement of Reason” and the other contained a sheet entitled “Council Tax Reduction Decision Notice”. They are both saying basically the same thing, which is that I will no longer be entitled to any reduction in my Council Tax. That’s OK as it was what I was expecting and must be the same for a lot of people worse off than me. But why couldn’t they put both pieces of the notification in the same envelope? If they’ve sent two letters to everyone affected, it must be costing an awful lot more than necessary!
    This is the sort of thing that makes people cross when they hear about cutbacks and efficiency savings. Why not just stop wasting money like this?

  2. AllThingsGood

    Linda…..because this is Harrow Council who are renowned for wasting taxpayers money!

  3. VoiceOfReason

    I dont know about sticking their fingers in their ears. Seems more like sticking 2 fingers up at the residents of Harrow and our concerns about the increase. The Listening Council my a**e !

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