Berkshire

Windsor & Maidenhead launches council tax donation scheme

Residents in Berkshire who have had their council tax cut have been offered the chance to donate their savings towards local services.

The scheme set up by Tory-led Windsor & Maidenhead council enables people to help fund the likes of public transport.

Council deputy leader Simon Dudley said this would enable "even more expenditure than budgeted for".

But Labour branded it a "total waste of time" as people will not respond.

'Good council PR'

The Royal Borough Of Windsor & Maidenhead has reduced its council tax rate for the past four years, cutting it last year by 3% across all bands.

It has set up a webpage that allows residents to work out what they have saved and donate it to a range of community services, including pavement repairs, litter removal, reducing anti-social behaviour and tree-planting.

Mr Dudley said: "While four years of council tax cuts have been warmly welcomed, some residents have told us that they would prefer their savings to be used for further enhancement of local services."

But Maidenhead Labour Party's campaigns manager Pat McDonald said: "People aren't going to respond to it, I'd be astonished if they get more than a very small minority doing so.

"It think it would be a total waste of time but good PR for the council.

"Why don't they leave the council tax the same and provide people with the services they need?"

In 2011, the council announced 70 jobs would be axed as part of budget cuts.

Mr Dudley said the donations were not a necessity for the council to deliver "excellent services" and that any past budget cuts allowed the council to be "more efficient - more for less".

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