Council tax budget 21/22

About the 2021-22 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 £145.7m will concentrate on vital services to support our vulnerable children and adults, and services in the community, which takes up almost 55% of our total budget.

It was agreed at Full Council on 25 February to raise council tax by 1.99%, with an additional 3% to support adult social care services. 

This year's rise in Council Tax Explained

The total increase in council tax for 2021-22 will be 4.99% 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 £1.55 a week extra for a Band D household.

 

Council Tax increase explained

This council's budget challenges

Over the last ten years we have saved £117m with your help, but we need to go further to meet the challenges ahead. Here are some key facts about the borough and its budget:

 

Council Tax Budget explained

We received £66m of general funding from Central Government in 2010. This has been reducing year on year and we now receive £0

  • We have a growing population in Kingston, with around 177,000 residents. This is expected to reach 196,000 by 2030
  • Almost 1 in 5 people in Kingston is over 60

What do we spend our money on?

 

Where does the council spend the money?

 

Where do we get our money from?

 

Where does the council's money come from?

How much will I pay in 2021-2022?

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..

Council Tax Band

Council Tax RBK

Council tax

GLA

Council Tax - most areas of the Borough

WPCC area precept *

Council Tax - WPCC area

 

£

£

£

£

£

A

1,128.54

242.44

1,370.98

20.67

1,391.65

B

1,316.63

282.85

1,599.48

24.11

1,623.59

C

1,504.72

323.25

1,827.97

27.56

1,855.53

D

1,692.81

363.66

2,056.47

31.00

2,087.47

E

2,068.99

444.47

2,513.46

37.89

2,551.35

F

2,445.17

525.29

2,970.46

44.78

3,015.24

G

2,821.35

606.10

3,427.45

51.67

3,479.12

H

3,385.62

727.32

4,112.94

62.00

4,174.94

*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 3%*. We also collect council tax on behalf of the GLA, which has set a rise of 9.51%, or £0.61 a week. You can find out more about the GLA and its plans for the forthcoming year on the GLA website

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 are you putting up my council tax?

The decision to raise council tax is always difficult and isn't taken lightly, but given the limited ways of raising funds and the need to budget in a responsible and achievable way, we have little choice but to ask residents to pay a bit more for the services we deliver to everyone, especially our most vulnerable residents.

We have a growing population in Kingston, with around 177,000 residents at the moment, and this will grow to an estimated 196,000 by 2030. This puts increasing pressures on social care and special educational needs and disability services as a result of growing numbers of children in need and our ageing local population. The council tax increase is essential to meet those costs.

Our Government grant has gone down every year since 2010, and despite intense lobbying, we no longer receive any general funding. This means that the money we receive from council tax makes up over 70% of our total income, which makes this year’s increase vital for us to be able to meet the growing demand for the council’s services and support.

I hardly use any council services - why do I pay the same as those who do?

Council tax is not a direct bill for services; you’re paying for the cost of maintaining the borough’s essential services and ensuring that we can support the most vulnerable among us. In total, around 55% 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 33% of our budget. We are a community - collectively caring for all our residents.

Does this mean you are going to increase council tax next year and in the future?

No decision has been made about council tax increases for next year. However, there is still a gap to close in future years.

Why is council tax in Kingston one of the highest in London?

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. Though we no longer receive any general funding our overall budget hasn’t changed. This means we need to raise more money through council tax.

Why doesn‘t the council just use its reserves instead of making cuts?

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 spending.  

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 £25 million by March 2021.

Why don’t you put up business rates instead?

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.  
 

 

Last Modified: 12/04/2021 16:33:36