Wandsworth to Raise its Share of Council Tax by Two Per Cent

Says this will leave residents with lowest bills in the capital

Council leader Simon Hogg and deputy leader Kemi Akinola at one of the borough’s new libraries
Council leader Simon Hogg and deputy leader Kemi Akinola at one of the borough’s new libraries. Picture: Wandsworth Council

February 20, 2024

Wandsworth Council has revealed plans to set the ‘lowest’ council tax in the capital by freezing its core share of the bill, which funds general services. It means the authority’s overall share of council tax would only rise by 2 per cent in April to cover adult social care costs, instead of the maximum 4.99pc allowed without holding a referendum.

The authority claimed its council tax would be the ‘lowest’ in the country under the plans. It said it will continue to deliver better services despite rising demand in adult and children’s social care and homelessness services, along with a fall in income from parking. It is planning to introduce food waste collections on every street in the coming year, and previously said it is on track to deliver more than 1,000 new council homes by 2029.

The average band D household in most areas of Wandsworth would pay £961 in the 2024/25 financial year under the plans. This includes an increase in the adult social care precept by £9.74 to £79.94. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s share is set to increase by £37.26 for the average band D household to help fund police, fire and transport.

The proposed figure is lower than the £973 the average band D household in Westminster is set to pay in 2024/25, which was otherwise expected to be the cheapest in London.

Some residents in Wandsworth are also subject to the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators’ (WPCC) levy, which is set to rise to £39.15 for the average band D household in Wandsworth in 2024/25. This means the average band D household affected by the levy would pay £1,000 overall.

A report by council officers said the budget proposals would allow the authority to spend a net of £212.2million in 2024/25. The council said it had already opened two new libraries, helped families with free school uniforms and set up a £15m cost-of-living fund to support residents battling high costs.

Labour council leader Simon Hogg said, “We are an ambitious and compassionate council, so our work does not stop here. Through sound financial management, we will lead a decade of renewal for our borough.

“Freezing council tax is one of the key things we can do to deliver a fairer, compassionate and more sustainable borough for everyone. Wandsworth is a fantastic place to live. Together we will make sure everyone in Wandsworth has access to the opportunities our borough provides.”

The authority is also set to transform its council tax reduction scheme to scrap the need for residents on the lowest incomes to make a minimum contribution, instead basing support solely on income levels and household type. The council will make a final decision on the budget proposals on 4 March.

Charlotte Lillywhite - Local Democracy Reporter