THE leader of the Ealing Council has revealed his priorities for the coming financial year.

Speaking exclusively to the Ealing Times, Councillor Jason Stacey highlighted areas including road resurfacing, the renovation of heritage buildings and waste removal, which will get a cash injection in the forthcoming budget.

Cllr Stacey also revealed the Council Tax rise would be one of the lowest in London and will rise by less than the rate of inflation.

He said: "I was at a meeting of Conservative council leaders last week and we went around and said what the rises would be - and Ealing's was the third lowest.

"Council Tax will increase slightly because, with inflation, we need to find an extra £6million every year just to stand still, and the grant we have from the Government has only increased by just over £2million this year.

"In the budget we have a number of service efficiencies in place to make sure we can keep the Council Tax rise down."

The budget must be passed at a full meeting of council and is scheduled to go before members on March 3, when figures for 2008/09 will be confirmed.

Mr Stacey continued: "Last year we dealt with the issues of street cleaning and putting more bobbies on the beat, and we will not be pumping more into those areas this year.

"I think it's important we look at the state of the road surfaces which need replacing and put more money into our heritage buildings, some of which are falling down.

"There are some big figures involved in their maintenance.

"We are also abolishing the charge for collecting things like fridges from people's homes, which currently stands at £15, and will be bringing in a street washing programme.

"There is also going to be a £50,000 investment for more litter bins around the borough."

It is expected the average household will also have to pay £311 towards the Greater London Authority, an increase of 2.4 per cent on last year.