tax up by nearly £200 - but still the lowest average
tax bills in Wandsworth are forced to go up next year to meet
shortfalls in government grant and higher spending by the
Mayor of London, claims Wandsworth Council. Councillors
will be recommended on March 10 to set a Band D council tax
of £580. The current year's figure is £398. Wandsworth
is still likely to have the lowest average bills in the UK.
is one of the worst hit by the new system for sharing out
cash to councils. Its 3.5 per cent increase in government
grant is the lowest possible and compares with a national
average of 5.9 per cent. The result is that the council, compared
with other authorities, loses around £6 million in government
residents, like others throughout London, will see a huge
chunk of their council tax going straight to the Mayor. The
cost of Ken Livingstone's GLA will go up by £51 to £224
for a band D householder.
the funding pressures the council, which is rated as an excellent
authority and one of the top 11 in the country by the government,
has promised to press ahead with a battery of key initiatives
and service improvements.
to affect Putney residents include:
* New extended doorstep recycling for 80,000 households with
paper, card, cans, glass and plastic bottles all collected
in a single orange sack
* Improved recycling on estates with 500 new euro-bins - both
recycling initiatives with a combined cost for the council
of £2 million.
Construction of more than 50 new hidden homes on estates as
part of the council's affordable housing programme at a cost
of £2.8 million.
* Opening of a brand new secondary school at St Cecilia's,
Sutherland Grove at a cost of £11 million.
council leader Maurice Heaster warned that popular initiatives
like the town centre patrols would not be able to continue
beyond their original two-year life if current levels of government
support were taken away:
fund policing schemes like these on their own. It is not fair
to expect council tax payers to pick up the tab for all the
police officers we have lost. The council will continue to
look for ways of keeping its costs down in all areas.
will not be at the expense of quality. Our priority will be
to ensure that vital education and social services are protected
so that we can go on helping the people who need it most.
are adding £1m to schools' budgets this year. This will
help to compensate for some of the key Standards Fund programmes
that the government has withdrawn.
many London councils we have been hit this year by a grant
system which is skewed towards northern areas and a profligate
Mayor who is never short of a new way to spend Londoners'
money. Both factors will have a long term impact on our ability
to keep the council tax at an affordable level.
good news is that Wandsworth is a robust, well-managed council.
A council tax of £580 is still excellent value for money
- especially when more than half of London's councils will
be setting bills in excess of £1,000."
council's budget requirement for 2003/2004 will be set at
proposals for 2003/2004 will be considered first by the corporate
resources overview and scrutiny committee on February 27 before
being voted on by the full council at its meeting on March
Band D figure of £580 will be paid by residents of two
person households in the majority area of the borough. Residents
who pay commons rates to Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators
will pay a slightly higher inclusive figure of £599.
hike warning in December 10.12.2002