Wandsworth Set To Freeze Council Tax Again

As Council Leader talks of continued reduced spending

Wandsworth Council have announced that are planning to leave Council Tax bills unchanged this year.

The proposals would see the tax rate frozen for the second year in a row. It has only been increased twice in the last 12 years. R esidents will continue to pay the lowest average council tax bills in the country.

Band D properties are set to pay £677.65 in council tax during 2015/16, approximately half the London average which stands at more than £1,300.

Some residents in the west of the borough will pay slightly more (£704.57) as they are also subject to the statutory levy imposed by the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators.

A report on the proposed tax rate will be discussed by the finance and corporate resources committee on February 19 and will go before the executive on February 23. It would then be referred to a full meeting of the council on March 4 for final approval.

The report shows that council spending is now £90m a year lower than it was in 2010. Further reductions of more than £50 million will be required by 2017.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: "We are on course to freeze council tax again this year so the average bill in Wandsworth will continue to be the lowest in the country.

“Our spending continues to fall year-on-year but unlike many other councils we are not making up the shortfall with higher taxes or widespread cuts to frontline services. Instead we have drastically reduced our back office, slashed our senior staff wage bill and cut down the number of council departments.

“We have market tested more services than ever before, driving out waste and uncovering better and more efficient ways of performing our duties. Time and again we prove that embracing ideas from outside organisations can generate real benefits and improve the services our residents rely on. The net result is that Wandsworth Council is now a much leaner and more efficient machine than ever before, but with the same high quality service standards and ultra low tax rate.

“In the years ahead savings will become increasingly hard to find and we have to consider more imaginative ways of working. Part of our solution will be to share staff with Richmond Council so we can continue to reduce spending while protecting front line services and keeping council tax low. These principles will continue to guide our work in the years ahead.”  

Read the report online.

February 17, 2015