East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

Southwark council tax bill hitting the door mat for 2017 - 2018

Hello all, Council Tax bills have been hitting our door mats recently for 2017 - 2018.

I have notice on the bill, the following:

Southwark Council Tax bill - increased by 2.0%

GLA Contribution - increase of 1.5%

Ring-fenced adult social care precept bill

The bill says there is a increase of 4.2% Anyone know how you get an increase of 4.2% increase?

Is Southwark council value for money with the residents contribution, or a wasteful council???

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The hottest place in the world
Lewisham Council is up a similar amount.

The councils need money, having limited increases in recent years.
I have already lived a long life. What I note is that despite a reasonable education and a willingness to spend some time (always so dispiriting) on current affairs, I have NO CLUE about council politics, budgets, use of funds, other than what IMMEDIATELY concerns my day-to-day life.

All I can see are things that are NOT going well. My bins are now only collected when (in summer months) they have bred maggots. The new rules at the recycling centre. The stupid expenditure on things like the Melbourne Grove fiasco. The pavements are increasingly hazardous. There are road improvements at dangerous junctions that are 'too expensive'.

Yet each year I get a bill for what seems to me a huge amount, and this year it has gone up much more than even the correct index of inflation (the RPI). I have no idea where the money goes or who decides how it is spent or how I might try to express my views on the matter.

To whom do I write? Who are these people who are 'the Council'? What is the nature of their 'Cabinet' (really? are they serious?).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was march 11, 08:32pm by jaywalker.

I don't think it had gone up for several years so I was expecting a rise this year. We usually get a booklet explaining where the money goes.
Hi Trinidad
I was wondering that myself.
If part of the increase is 2 per cent and the rest 1.5 per cent, the total increase is less than 2 per cent. Not 4.2 or am I missing something?
> We usually get a booklet explaining where the money goes.

I've found the 2017/18 edition online at [www.southwark.gov.uk] (1.2MB).

The GLA precept is conventionally included _within_ the council tax figure. But then there's the new Adult Social care precept. From page 4:
"This year we have decided to increase council tax by 1.99%, and have decided
to use the flexibility offered by the government to support Adult Social Care
through a precept equivalent to 3% of council tax, giving a total increase of 4.99%."
See page 6 for an example of how it's added to the basic Band D charge.
What you need to remember jaywalker is that Local Councils are political animals and will operate as such.
In my experience down the years front line services are used as a political football because of local democracy- i.e. you voted for the council, suck it up....and every time there is a clash of politics- i.e. central government is Tory and local government is Labour, then watch out....for example, money allocated to education can be used ANYWHERE in the education department, not necessarily at the chalk face- which goes to explain why schools want to opt out of LA control.
I'd say the main reason schools want rid of LA's is so they can cherry pick their own admissions.

Lot's of LAs are putting CT up 4.00% (maximum allowed without consultation). This after trying toi keep them more or less level for a number of years.

In my opinion they should have put them up a bit way before now. I don't think people really appreciate just how little money there is for LAs to provide services with. And as for non statutory services (which are very often the most valuable to service users), forget it.
If you are the only person occupying a home you can get 25% off your council tax.
Surrey Council were going to put up their CT by 17% !!

We are luckier than most re Southwark Council.
Bromley only provide open top bins for recycling waste and not wheelie bins, in fact in some parts of the borough they do not provide any form of wheelie bin and their CT is quite high. They charge per item for bulky refuse collection to a maximum number of items per annum.

West Sussex do not in general provide recycling bins - it literally down to the individual district councils.
The pensions bills for local councils are getting completely out-of-hand. Funding these schemes currently accounts for approximately 20% of council tax that is collected, and that figure will increase.

All the hoo-ha about adult social care costs is, in my opinion, a cover to try to plug the local government [rension deficits.

[www.taxpayersalliance.com]
Pugwash Wrote:

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> If you are the only person occupying a home you
> can get 25% off your council tax.
> Surrey Council were going to put up their CT by
> 17% !!

...until the government did a secret deal with them.

I personally think Southwark do a pretty good job. I do think that cutting back on free collections of bulky items will probably end up costing more than it saves. There 'regeneration' projects are well dodgy, but on the day to day business as usual stuff, they're not bad.
I realise I'm repeating myself, but I'm gobsmacked that £1 in £5 of council tax goes to councillors pensions.
I would be pretty wary of any 'research' coming out of the Taxpayers Alliance. It's got a pretty clear agenda.
Ask your councillor. I asked one of the labour candidates last time they cam door knocking and he was surprised at the question, but later came back to me and confirmed. There have been many articles about it over recent years, the TA one was the first hit on a google search.
Fair enough Bobbsy - it sounds plausible.
Cheers Rahrah - it's one of my bugbears...
bobbsy Wrote:

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> I realise I'm repeating myself, but I'm gobsmacked
> that £1 in £5 of council tax goes to councillors
> pensions.

That's not quite the case - 20% on average (it differs between councils) goes on staff pensions but that's for all council staff - roadsweepers, park staff, administrators etc. Councillors are permitted to sign up to the council's pension scheme and some think they shouldn't be allowed to, but they only account for a very small proportion of the employees in the scheme.
Sorry, my mistake - first post I correctly said local government pensions.
bobbsy Wrote:

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> All the hoo-ha about adult social care costs is,
> in my opinion, a cover to try to plug the local
> government [rension deficits.



Absolute nonsense. Not saying there isn't an issue with pensions, but social care is funded differently. The "Hoo-Ha" is about the cost of services, not staffing. Although staffing is also under pressure.


Again, I am not dismissing your pensions point. But don't compare it to the social care crisis (and yes it is that). Two very different things. See also education.
You may be right Otta, but I think it's being used as a way to raise council tax in general. I'd like to see better evidence on how the council tax funds are spent.
Do an FOI request then

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