Average council tax bill set to remain lowest in country

Published: Friday 3rd March 17

Wandsworth’s average council tax bill is on course to remain the lowest in the country after the council executive backed the 2017/18 budget plan at a meeting earlier this week.

The report will now go before the full meeting of the council on March 8 for final approval.

If voted through, the council’s share of the tax rate would increase by 3.99 per cent, 2 per cent of which will be ring-fenced to fund social care.

The Mayor of London has announced plans to increase his share on the bill by 1.5 per cent and the Wimbledon and Putney Common Conservators have agreed a rise of 6.1 per cent in the levy they charge for the upkeep of this green space. This charge applies to 27,090 homes surrounding the commons and the increase amounts to £1.64 per property for the year.

These changes combined mean the overall average band D tax rate would rise by £1.67 a month from April this year, if bills are split over 12 instalments.

This takes Wandsworth’s average Band D council tax bill for the entire year to £700.04, which is around half the London average.

The report also shows that the council benefited from a record £13.288m new homes bonus payment in 2016/17 in reward for its successful regeneration and home building programmes. This funding will help offset the fall in government grant for the coming financial year.

Guy Senior, council finance spokesman, said:

“Like most councils we propose a modest increase in our tax rate for the coming year to help protect vital front line services from the impact of reduced government funding. Thanks to many years of prudent and robust financial management our average bills will likely remain the lowest in the country despite the increase.

“We continue to lead the way in developing new and innovative ways of reducing our spending, including our staff sharing arrangement with Richmond Council which is now helping us provide the same high quality services at a much reduced cost. We have also received a £13.2m new homes bonus as a direct reward for our successful regeneration and home building efforts. This money is being used to protect investment in local services and is just one of the ways our residents are benefiting from new investment in the borough.”

You can read the full report on the council website.

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Recent comments

Low Council tax cont'd.... Of course I forgot to add that WBC often cut services; for example, library hours at Earlsfield and Southfields libraries; and, they provide less social care for adults. RBKC provide adult social care for two categories of patients: moderate and severe, whereas WBC only provides care for severe category!
kaleem Mirza

7 March 2017

Low council tax, due to efficiency and no cross subsidy of services through council tax, reducing staff headcount to the minimum required, turning all or mot of the borough into CPZ's, Charging fairly high amounts for parking, paying of council debt to reduce interest costs. Attracting development into the borough thus the tax base rises and you get govt incentive payments (new homes bonus). WBC is a relatively large borough so scale efficiencies count as well, WBC has a business like approach in good and bad times. WBC generates huge amounts in parking, fees and charges.

7 March 2017

The rubbish everywhere and the state of the roads are awful. More needs to be spent on the park. The Borough is ever more gentrified into its formerly darkest corners, and really we need to pay more for essential services and stop a) cutting and cutting services b) selling of our parks to the highest bidders and sociopaths like the electric racers and c) glory hunting by going on about low rates
Laurence P

6 March 2017

To people ranting or objecting : the £700 is the average, not what people in the million + plus bracket are paying. And, no, many many of us could not afford more than £700 a year.

4 March 2017

It's pretty obvious how Wandsworth have done this: 40 years of sensible financial management (unlike the profligacy and ineptitude of too many other councils in the UK), innovative sharing of services with Richmond Council, which is saving millions of pounds, and receiving the £13.2m new homes bonus for regenerating and building homes. Whatever some of the ranters on this board say, low council tax is extremely popular with the overwhelming majority of the people who have to pay it.

4 March 2017

This is nothing to boast about when the Council have cut and cut and cut services. Just look at the state of the roads, the rubbish around the place and cuts to activities for children and much much more. Oddly enough the streets where councillors from the majority party seem rather better maintained than many of the others.

3 March 2017

£700. Amazing. Please can someone tell me how they do it? Seriously. Can anyone with detailed actual knowledge give me a rant-free explanation? Thanks

3 March 2017

Congratulations and grateful thanks on your continued excellent financial management which will benefit we residents for another year.
Robert Newell CVO

3 March 2017

I do not feel it is anything for the Council to be proud of. Very very many people in this borough could afford to pay more which would mean less scrimping on services provided. I am uncomfortable about for example about the homelessness, the food banks, the constant outsourcing and thus diminishing job security.
Valerie Davies

3 March 2017

£700? how marvelous!!...when you think how many wealthy people live in the borough....they could afford to pay double that and not notice! but no, you bleat on about how wonderful and efficient you are, while you hike up the small shops rents and rates and take away the services the poor people in the borough need with cutbacks...shame on you wandsworth...its time you charged according to the multi million pound houses and even the 1.5 million 3 bed cottages..these people could pay a realistic council tax and take the pressure of everyone else...
Michael Lysandrou

3 March 2017

Low council tax is not an unmitigated good, why not spend more money on social care, and nursery provision to name but two?
Sharon Goulds

3 March 2017