Friday, October 09, 2009

Council Tax Collection - the worst in London

Southwark has the worst Council Tax collection rate in London and the third worst in the country. This fact means that 7p in every £1 or £7 million of Council Tax goes uncollected every year. This is a truly appalling figure and is one of the reasons why I get angry when the LibDems and Tories who run Southwark start scaremongering about cuts from Whitehall. If they did their job properly we would have an extra £7 million a year to spend on front-line services - we could help people deal with the worst effects of poverty; we could improve our recycling and push forward with new green technologies; we could help our older residents and roll back some of the spiteful cuts made by the administration over the past 7 years.

We are in this sorry position because the LibDems and Tories have persisted with Liberata as the council's contractor, 2 years after we asked them to re-tender and find a better alternative. They arrogantly refused our proposal then and have been far too slow to respond to the deteriorating performance of Liberata since.

So the consequence is that we are now bound into a further 2 years of a contract with a company that knows it will lose that contract - with little or no incentive for them to improve. I just hope that our collection rates do not fall even lower in that period.

The LibDems are always anxious to try and blame anyone but themselves for things that happen in Southwark, but this is one result that is down to them. It is just a pity that all of the residents of the borough have to pay so highly for their incompetence.

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