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Sadiq Khan calls councillor’s Olympic precept refund request ‘desperate nonsense’

PUBLISHED: 10:14 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18 02 February 2017

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Archant

Sadiq Khan called a councillor’s request for the Olympic Games council tax precept to be refunded “desperate nonsense from the Tories”.

Havering Council's cabinet member for financial management, Cllr Clarence BarrettHavering Council's cabinet member for financial management, Cllr Clarence Barrett

From 2006-07 council tax payers across London were required to contribute £625m towards the cost of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This equated to a precept of £20 per household, for band B and D properties, and the final instalment of the £625m was paid last year.

But although the precept was reduced by £12 to £8, Havering Council’s cabinet member for financial management, Cllr Clarence Barrett said the remainder should be returned to residents.

“It defies simple logic,” he said.

“The precept was used for the Olympic games. We fullfiled our obligation and we should get the £8 back.”

But the Mayor of London responded: “This is desperate nonsense from the Tories.”

Despite having previously planning to do otherwise, the previous mayor, Boris Johnson, decided to maintain a small element of the Olympic element of the precept.

In last year’s budget he wrote: “The continuation of the residual £8 balance of the Olympic precept is assumed in the budget forecasts for 2017-18 onwards.”

Mr Khan continued: “I have always been crystal clear to Londoners that I will keep the council tax precept as low as possible without risking Londoners’ safety.

“Promise made promise delivered with the non-policing element frozen and Londoners paying just 8p a week more towards policing.”

Cllr Barrett added: “Keeping council tax low is all very well but in the spirit of the agreement, this is what we should expect [the money back].

“This equates to about £700,000 which could be used by the council for social care, patching up pot holes or on children’s services.

“I’m very disappointed with his response.”

Mr Khan added: “I want to keep taxes as low as possible but I am simply not willing to sacrifice Londoners safety and security.”


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