Wandsworth's council tax is on course to remain the lowest in the UK at £687 for an average Band D property (including the GLA precept) after the authority announced proposals for freezing its share of the bills for the third year running. Wandsworth Council own share of the bill is just £377.
It means the amount residents pay for services provided by the council will have been unchanged since 2007.
The Mayor of London has also decided on a zero increase for his share of the tax for a second successive year.
Deputy council leader Maurice Heaster said the council’s low tax record should serve as a benchmark for national government:
“While the Government has lost control of public spending, councils like Wandsworth continue to provide excellent local services without hitting people in the pocket.
“Over the years we have managed our finances carefully so that today the council is virtually debt-free. Add to that the year on year savings we continue to make from service reviews and you have the formula for a low council tax.
“The coming years will be very much tougher as we cope with the fall-out from the national crisis. Local people know that if there is any council that can be trusted to take the tough decisions needed to protect essential services and keep tax bills down, it is Wandsworth.”
As part of its pledge to support local businesses during the recession the council will also freeze parking charges for a third successive year.
The council also wants to have the power to set business rates locally. These are currently fixed nationally which means Wandsworth businesses are denied the opportunity to benefit from the council’s low taxation policies.
If the council could set a lower rate it would ease conditions for existing businesses and help to encourage new enterprises to relocate to the borough.
In a 2008 survey of UK local authorities, 73 per cent of residents said Wandsworth offered good value for money – the highest score in the country. The council also achieved the UK’s highest resident satisfaction rating for its services (75 per cent)
Wandsworth is one of the top-performing councils in the country. It holds the maximum four-star award for the quality of its services from the Audit Commission.
The council’s budget requirement for 2010/2011 will be set at £198.187m.
The proposals for 2010/2011 will be considered first by the corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee on March 3 before being voted on by the full council on March 10.
A typical two person household living in the majority area of the borough will pay a Band D tax of £682 in 2010/2011 – the same as in the current year. Band D residents liable for the levy of the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators will pay a slightly higher inclusive figure of £706. Across all properties the average Band D amount payable will remain unchanged at £687.