Council tax budget 20/21

About the 2020-21 council budget

Our budget this year will focus resources on those who need it most and what matters to communities. This means the overall budget of £140.4m will concentrate on vital services to support our vulnerable children and adults and services in the community, which takes up almost 60% of our total budget.

It was agreed at Full Council (27 February) to raise council tax by 1.99%, with an additional 2% to support adult social care services. The total increase in council tax for 2020-21 will be 3.99% to meet the needs of a growing population and offset reducing funding from the government. The Kingston element of the increase is equivalent to approximately £1.19 a week extra for a Band D household.

Over the last nine years we have saved £110m with your help, but we need to go further to meet the challenges ahead. Here are some stats and facts about our borough:

  • We received £66m of general funding from Central Government in 2010. This has been reducing year on year and we no longer receive any.
  • We need to save £32m over the next four years
  • We have a growing population in Kingston, which has increased by 20,000 since 2011 and is now at 179,600. This is expected to reach 202,234 by 2030.
  • There continues to be pressures on adult social care and special educational needs and disability (SEND) services as a result of growing numbers of children in need and our ageing local population. The historical shortfall in SEND funding will reach £20 million at the end of March 2020.
  • The elderly population has grown from 20,500 in 2011 to 24,300 in 2018 and is projected to reach 32,000 by 2030.
  • Over the next four years it is estimated that costs for Adult Social Care services will be almost £4m more than we currently spend.
  • Adult Social Care and Children’s Services amounts to 59% of our total expenditure  for 2020-21

How much do i pay in 2020-2021

Band D - includes properties valued from £68,001 to £88,000 at 1991 values. The council tax for other bands is calculated as a proportion of Band D. More information can be found on the council website.

Council Tax Band

Council Tax RBK

Council tax

GLA

Council Tax - most areas of the Borough

WPCC area precept *

Council Tax - WPCC area

 

£

£

£

£

£

A

1,074.88

221.38

1,296.26

20.27

1,316.53

B

1,254.03

258.28

1,512.31

23.65

1,535.96

C

1,433.17

295.17

1,728.34

27.03

1,755.37

D

1,612.32

332.07

1,944.39

30.41

1,974.80

E

1,970.61

405.86

2,376.47

37.17

2,413.64

F

2,328.91

479.66

2,808.57

43.92

2,852.49

G

2,687.20

553.45

3,240.65

50.68

3,291.33

H

3,224.64

664.14

3,888.78

60.82

3,949.60

*The Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators area is equivalent to 1609 Band D properties. 

  • Council tax is not a direct bill for services; you’re paying for the cost of maintaining society’s essential services and ensuring that we can support the most vulnerable among us. In total, over 60% of our budget is spent on helping vulnerable people, including the elderly and children.
  • Our single biggest expense is adult social care, which accounts for 36% of our budget. We are a community - collectively caring for all our residents.

How the council tax is broken down

Your council tax is made up of two elements:

  • Kingston Council expenditure – e.g. social care, waste collection, libraries

  • Greater London Authority (GLA) expenditure – e.g. Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and the Fire Brigade.

In line with national government policy, we have taken the decision to raise council tax by 1.99% and support Kingston’s vulnerable and ageing population by levying a social care precept of 2%*. We also collect council tax on behalf of the GLA, which has set a rise of 3.6%, £0.22 a week. You can find out more about the GLA and its plans for the forthcoming year at www.kingston.gov.uk/GLA

The Secretary of State recognises that changing demographics are leading to an ever increasing cost of adult social care services. Central government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. 

The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting its expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016-17. It was originally made in respect of the financial years up to and including 2019-20. If the Secretary of State chooses to renew this offer in respect of a particular financial year, this is subject to the approval of the House of Commons.

(“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly).

Why our council tax is so high

The Government funding we receive in Kingston has historically always been low compared to most other London boroughs because Kingston is seen by the Government as an area of low need. While there are some affluent areas, there are also many areas that are in real need.

The Government has highlighted some local authorities as having significant financial reserves, but we’re not one of them; our reserves are among the lowest in London even compared to our small size. Continually dipping into them to help cope with the pressures we’re facing would not be a sustainable way to deliver a balanced budget. Reserves, like your savings, can only be spent once, so eating into them simply puts off the tough choices for the next year, when the financial situation is likely to be even worse. Reserves need to be kept aside to cover for unforeseen events and specific projects rather than business-as-usual.

Education for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are paid by a separate council account (dedicated schools grant high needs block). Central Government fund this but it isn’t enough for all our children, so it has been overspending. The accumulated deficit will be £20 million by March 2020.

Business rates are set on a national basis by the Government - we could not put them up even if we wanted to. An increase in business rates would not tackle our budget challenge on its own, because as things stand, we get to keep less than a third of the Business Rates income we collect. In addition, any increase in business rates is likely to affect the viability of some businesses.  We are participating in a London wide business rates pool, which means working with other boroughs. This gives us greater flexibility and hopefully greater financial reward to reinvest in services.

 

Last Modified: 20/10/2020 12:11:34