Council plans £10m boost to improve local neighbourhoods and approves more funding on care services for elderly and disabled residents
Published: Thursday 8th March 18
Wandsworth Council has unveiled plans for £10m worth of new investment in better neighbourhood services across the borough.
The money will be spent on improvements to parks and open spaces, keeping town centres vibrant and providing additional services at local libraries. And following last week’s cold snap the fund will help pay for further road repairs caused by the snow and ice.
The announcement has coincided with confirmation last night (Wednesday) that average council tax bills in Wandsworth are to remain the lowest in the country after councillors formally approved the setting of bills for the 12 month period from April onwards.
As well as the £10m on neighbourhood improvements, councillors backed an additional £1m to support elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents of the borough next year. In total spending on these crucial social care services will rise to over £75 million next year.
Councillors decided to freeze all the other elements that make up local council tax bills but increase funding for social care by applying a two per cent increase to bills. This means on average an extra £8.40 or the equivalent of three large high street coffees over the course of a year.
This still leaves Wandsworth’s average council tax bills as the lowest in the country – something borough residents have benefited from over the past two decades.
Wandsworth’s share of a Band D bill for 2018/19 will therefore stand at an average of £428.42.
This year the Mayor of London has increased his share of bills by 5.1 per cent. His precept will rise by £14.21 to £294.23 meaning the total average Band D bill in Wandsworth from April onwards will be £722.65.
In the neighbouring boroughs of Lambeth Band D bills will be £1,386, in Merton £1,486, in Kingston £1,771, in Hammersmith and Fulham £1,022, Westminster £710 and in Richmond around £1,707 compared to Wandsworth’s £723.
This means that in Revelstoke Road in Southfields residents on the northern (Wandsworth) side of the road will pay half the amount for their local services as their neighbours on the southern (Merton) side of the boundary.
Similarly in Hazelbourne Road near Clapham South tube station, residents living on the southern side of the street in Wandsworth will pay on average £600 less a year than those living on the other side of the road in Lambeth.
Since council tax was first introduced in 1993 Wandsworth residents living in a typical Band D property have saved a combined sum of around £12,000 when compared to the average Londoner.
Council leader Ravi Govindia, who has today (Thursday) written an open letter to the people of Wandsworth, said: “We are freezing most of the elements that make up our overall budget to ensure we continue to offer our residents the best value for money local services in the country.
“But we also wanted to make sure we protected the important social care services we provide for elderly people, those with a disability, those who are sick or vulnerable and also importantly the support we provide to local carers, who are often the unsung heroes of our community.
“And at the same time we will be investing an extra £10m to make our borough even better. This additional money will help make a real difference to the quality of life of our residents.”
Average council tax bills in Wandsworth for next year have now been confirmed as following:
- Band A - £482
- Band B - £562
- Band C - £642
- Band D - £723
- Band E - £883
- Band F - £1,044
- Band G - £1,204
- Band H - £1,445
These figures show the borough’s average bills for each band and reflect the fact that some residents are required by law to pay an additional sum to the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators to pay for the upkeep of these green spaces. People living near to Putney Common, Wimbledon Common and Putney Heath will pay slightly more than the above figures, while those who do not live close to these open spaces will pay less.
Single people are entitled a 25 per cent discount on their bills. The council has also recently decided that it will pay the bills of all young people leaving its care, whether they choose to live in Wandsworth or elsewhere.
There are just over 144,000 properties in the borough of Wandsworth. These homes are designated in the following council tax bands: This shows that nearly two thirds of Wandsworth households will be paying £723 or less for their town hall services next year.
- Band A - 6,607
- Band B - 12,374
- Band C - 36,415
- Band D - 33,184
- Band E - 23,320
- Band F - 16,088
- Band G - 13,525
- Band H – 2,763
Total - 144,276