Merton Labour have announced a council tax freeze for the next four years if they are re-elected later this month. 

Council leader Stephen Alambritis heralded the big freeze in ski wear and goggles at fridge freezer shop Paul Electrical in Grand Drive, Lower Morden on Tuesday.

He said: "I know many of our residents still face difficult times but because we have got on top of the council's finances, Labour in Merton has been able to freeze council tax for the last four years, and our track record shows we can keep the big freeze going until 2019."

The announcement forms part of Labour's manifesto, launched just 16 days before the local elections on May 22.

Condensed into five pledges, the manifesto also promises Labour will keep streets clean; launching a new 24-hour call-out service between sweeps for dirty areas, cleaning High Streets seven days a week, protecting the free bulky waste collection service from residents' homes and maintaining the weekly rubbish collection.

They are also promising to create an extra 2,000 primary school places, after more than 200 families were not offered a primary school place at any of their choices in April.

Labour have also pledged to keep parks, libraries and hospitals open and keep communicating with residents.

Merton Conservatives have promised to cut council tax by ten per cent and improve services if they are elected, saving money by making more services available online and allowing for more flexible waste services.

Coun Alambritis said: "I think the Conservatives are making outlandish promises. It can only result in cuts to services.

"Labour’s big freeze has come without closing any libraries or children’s centres, or ending the weekly rubbish collection. Anyone who thinks you can cut taxes without cutting services needs a long lie down in a cool room."

The government has offered cash incentives to councils if they freeze council tax, but the total amount on offer over the next four years is not known.

Coun Alambritis said they are not relying on cash settlements from central government to achieve their budget.