Wandsworth Council freezes Council Tax while Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators propose 25% rise in commons levy despite squeeze on household budgets

Published: Monday, February 26, 2024

  • Wandsworth Council has announced a Council Tax freeze, meaning residents will continue to pay the lowest bills in the country.
  • Council leader Simon Hogg brands 25 per cent tax increase plan as “totally unacceptable”.
  • Proposed 25 per cent rise plus inflation would hit thousands of households in west of the borough, including Roehampton, whilst pressure on household budgets is still high.

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Council leader Simon Hogg has called on the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators to reconsider plans for an inflation-busting rise in the levy they charge for the upkeep of Wimbledon Common, Putney Heath and Putney Common.

Last year the organisation increased its bills by just under 13 per cent and with households still struggling to make ends meet as the economic downturn continues, Councillor Hogg says it would be “outrageous” for the conservators to impose yet another steep rise in their levy.

For the second year running, Wandsworth Council will again freeze the main element of its council tax bills, making it the lowest Council Tax offer in the country. This will continue to protect Wandsworth residents amid the cost-of-living crisis, whilst delivering better council services for all.

He said: “As many families continue to face soaring bills, we have frozen our share of council tax bills because we want to support our residents through the economic downturn. The conservators are proposing the opposite and are now looking to hit 28,000 Wandsworth households with an unjustifiable increase in bills.

“While we continue to help residents with their council tax bills, we are opening libraries, delivering our Cleaner Borough plan and repairing your roads and pavements.”

The conservators’ levy is charged to people living in 28,000 homes in the west of the borough, including Roehampton.  

There are eight conservators in total, five of whom are elected and three appointed by various Government departments including the Ministry of Defence. Their tax raising powers are contained in a 19th Century Act of Parliament.

The levy is charged to households living close to Wimbledon Common and also those in the old parish of Putney, which includes Roehampton, and is collected through council tax bills. It is paid by residents living in the boroughs of Wandsworth, Merton and Kingston.

The involvement of Government departments in the management of the commons has led Councillor Hogg to appeal directly to the Secretary of State to reject the group’s tax raising proposals.

  • Tonight (Monday, 26 February) the Putney Society will be staging a hustings event for those standing in next month’s election to the conservators. This meeting is open to all residents not just members of the Putney Society.

The hustings will be held in The Community Church in Werter Road starting at 7.30pm. It will be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person. People who wish to watch and listen remotely should email registration@putneysociety.org.uk