Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How Your Council Tax Bill Will Go Up in 2006; Most Londoners Face Average Rises of [Pounds Sterling]40

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How Your Council Tax Bill Will Go Up in 2006; Most Londoners Face Average Rises of [Pounds Sterling]40

Article excerpt

Byline: ROSS LYDALL

LONDON council tax bills will rise next month by an average of [pounds sterling]40, an Evening Standard survey reveals today.

An analysis of the budgets proposed by the 33 boroughs show all have stayed within the Government's guideline of five per cent increases.

The exception is Ken Livingstone's Greater London Authority, whose share of bills will rise by 5.5 per cent to pay for five extra community police teams in each borough.

Average bills for a band D property will increase from [pounds sterling]1,121 to just under [pounds sterling]1,161 from April, with [pounds sterling]13.29 going to the Mayor.

Richmond has set the highest levy for the fourth year in a row at [pounds sterling]1,388, while Wandsworth and Westminster have managed to freeze their bills, Wandsworth for the second year in succession.

As a result, Wandsworth ([pounds sterling]610) and Westminster ([pounds sterling]618) - both Tory-controlled - will have some of the lowest demands in the country.

Only two other London authorities - Kensington and Chelsea and the Corporation of London - set demands under [pounds sterling]1,000.

The Standard's findings show how higher-than-expected Government grants and the threat of capping local authorities who Local Government Correspondent exceeded the five per cent threshold combined to keep a lid on council tax in the run-up to the general election. They highlight that Londoners have done better than the rest of the country, an average rise of 3.6 per cent compared to four per cent across England.

Kingston, Lewisham, Bromley, Sutton, Newham and Waltham Forest have the biggest percentage rises of just under five per cent.

Harrow and Hammersmith and Fulham have kept increases to around one per cent. Only Hounslow has failed to draw up final figures.

In Richmond 2,690 band H properties will be charged [pounds sterling]2,775 a year - London's highest council tax.

But the figures come amid warnings that bills will soar after the general election.

Properties are currently placed in one of eight bands according to their value in 1991. Most London homes are expected to jump a band when they are revalued in

PROPOSED INCREASES

COUNCIL 2004/5 2005/6

Richmond [pounds sterling]1,339 [pounds sterling]1,388

Kingston [pounds sterling]1,308 [pounds sterling]1,375

Havering [pounds sterling]1,284 [pounds sterling]1,328

Haringey [pounds sterling]1,259 [pounds sterling]1,323

Waltham

Forest [pounds sterling]1,245 [pounds sterling]1,305

Hounslow [pounds sterling]1,262 n/a

Harrow [pounds sterling]1,275 [pounds sterling]1,296

Hillingdon [pounds sterling]1,215 [pounds sterling]1,267

Hackney [pounds sterling]1,221 [pounds sterling]1,253

Ealing [pounds sterling]1,192 [pounds sterling]1,251

Barnet [pounds sterling]1,214 [pounds sterling]1,246

Merton [pounds sterling]1,206 [pounds sterling]1,244

Bexley [pounds sterling]1,186 [pounds sterling]1,243

Sutton [pounds sterling]1,180 [pounds sterling]1,239

Camden [pounds sterling]1,200 [pounds sterling]1,232

Enfield [pounds sterling]1,193 [pounds sterling]1,229

Croydon [pounds sterling]1,165 [pounds sterling]1,225

Lewisham [pounds sterling]1,141 [pounds sterling]1,199

Redbridge [pounds sterling]1,142 [pounds sterling]1,197

Brent [pounds sterling]1,141 [pounds sterling]1,184

Greenwich [pounds sterling]1,141 [pounds sterling]1,180

Ham&Fulham [pounds sterling]1,131 [pounds sterling]1,158

Islington [pounds sterling]1,107 [pounds sterling]1,157

Barking

&Dag [pounds sterling]1,110 [pounds sterling]1,153

Newham [pounds sterling]1,059 [pounds sterling]1,112

Southwark [pounds sterling]1,071 [pounds sterling]1,099

Lambeth [pounds sterling]1,050 [pounds sterling]1,096

Bromley [pounds sterling]1,040 [pounds sterling]1,093

Tower

Hamlets [pounds sterling]1,008 [pounds sterling]1,052

Ken

&Chelsea [pounds sterling]944 [pounds sterling]982

City

of London [pounds sterling]773 [pounds sterling]806

Westminster [pounds sterling]605 [pounds sterling]618

Wandsworth [pounds sterling]597 [pounds sterling]610

AVERAGE

TOTAL [pounds sterling]1,121 [pounds sterling]1,161

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