INDEX December 10, 1987
Rate-capped council has limits eased

By John Grigsby Local Government Correspondent

MR RIDLEY. Environment Secretary, announced last night that he has given permission for the first time to a local council to spend above its rate-cap limit.

Liberal-controlled Tower Hamlets Borough Council will be able to spend £2 million more next year. 1988-89, than the Environment Secretary originally proposed.

Tower Hamlets and Southwark were the only two of 17 councils affected by rate-capping to apply to Mr Ridley for redetermination of their rate limit despite the Environment Secretary's new powers to impose conditions or even a lower limit.

Face problems

Yesterday's ruling means that Southwark, where the rate limit is retained at its current level, faces acute problems next year. It has a gap of about £40 million between its expected income and its planned spending.

Other boroughs which refused to apply for redetermination of their rate limits also face problems in drawing up their budgets for next year.

Mr Stephen Charters, chairman of the policy and resources committee of Tower Hamlets, said: "We are very pleased that the redetermination has helped

Proved wrong

"We were warned by everyone else, the local Labour parties and the other boroughs that our spending could be cut as well as raised, but we have proved them wrong."

Southwark expenditure stays at the original figure at just over £334 million.

Mr Ridley yesterday announced the proposed rate limits for the 17 local councils selected for rate-capping.

The limits, with the "implied" percentage change in the rate, are:

Tower Hamlets123.21p+11.6
N'cstle on Tyne270.01p-7.2
Waltham Forest199.14p-31.3

Daily Telegraph December 10, 1987.
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