Thurrock Council committee recommend U-Turn on “Garden Tax”


THE Council’s Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee met on Tuesday December 20 and reviewed the grounds maintenance charge for tenants which was suspended in September.

During the meeting members discussed a wide range of charging options and the impact each of those options would have, until finally deciding to recommend to Cabinet that the proposed grounds maintenance charge is withdrawn.

By not having a separate charge, the full cost of grounds maintenance services will have to be met by all tenants from the general housing budget. As a result, some expenditure on capital works will be delayed and de-prioritised.

Chair of the committee, Cllr Luke Spillman spoke after the meeting and said: “While the Committee agrees that the general housing budget remains challenging to manage, we don’t believe it’s fair to impose this additional cost on tenants.

“The committee accepted that the 1% rent decrease has placed pressure on the housing budget. However, we recommended that these pressures should not be met through increasing this cost to those residents currently receiving the service.

“I’m pleased that the charges were recommended to have further review by the leader of the council and that this committee was given another opportunity to consider the recommendations.”

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