Councillors agree to freeze Sutton's council tax
Council tax will be frozen for the fourth year running after councillors agreed on a budget for 2013/14.
Sutton Councillors voted through the budget for the forthcoming financial year after an unusually friendly debate on Monday night.
Conservative councillors backed the ruling Liberal Democrats' financial plans although a Tory bid to change the way people make the payments was voted down.
It means council tax for a band D property will remain at £1,140 for the 2013/14 tax year.
Liberal Democrats hailed the budget as a major achievement in the face of cuts to the council's grant from central government.
Councillor Simon Wales, lead member for resources, said: "This budget comes at a time unprecedented onslaught by national government on local budgets. Councils are encouraged to be prudent but we're having to do this with one arm tied behind our backs.
"This budget will allow investment on our part for a safe, greener borough while freezing council tax for the fourth consecutive year."
Councillor Wales also criticised the Tory-led coalition Government for informing councils of budgets later than usual, saying it made the financial planning process like "playing poker in the back of a car driven by a teenage joyrider".
Conservative Coun Tim Crowley said: "There are things in the financial planning document that make good reading. The decision to freeze council tax - all of us should be pleased that through the Government's largesse householders can be sure of their budgets."
Coun Graham Witham, leader of Sutton's Conservatives, added: "It strikes me that at this time of year our local Liberal Democrat party is split. It knows its parliamentary party is in a coalition government. It knows its MPs support the Government's economic policy yet locally it wants to revert to it's local identity.
"It attacks the Secretary of State as if its own MPs had nothing to do with the policy."
Conservatives called for the budget to be amended to make it the default position that people pay their taxes over 12 monthly installments rather than 10.