With the cost of living rising, many families are struggling to afford their household bills. On top of that, council tax has increased for many people. In response, experts at money.co.uk have analyzed a variety of factors to determine which borough has the best value for the cost of the tax.
The study analyzed fire response time, recycling levels, road conditions, crime rate, and percentage of good or outstanding schools and care homes. Experts found that one region of southwest London came out on top. Wandsworth, with its estimated population of 329,677 inhabitants, ranked number one on the list.
Its main settlements are Battersea, Putney, Tooting and Wandsworth Town. As with other local authorities, Wandsworth London Borough Council taxes residents to help pay for services such as rubbish collection and emergency services. According to the experts, it spends its money wisely and people who live in the borough are getting the most for their money.
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Council Tax is charged on all domestic properties and is based on the value of properties as assessed in 1991. In Wandsworth there are two levels of tax payable: the first is set by Wandsworth Council and the GLA, and secondly, those properties subject to an additional precept by the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators. The tax is charged at eight different levels, each covering a different property value band.
In Wandsworth, tax goes the furthest with an overall score of 7.85 out of 10, in part due to its speedy fire brigade response time of 6.53 minutes, on average. Furthermore, 92% of its schools and social care homes are good or outstanding. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, as its recycling score is only 0.13 out of 10.
Five out of the top ten English districts are in Greater London: Wandsworth, Westminster, Bromley, Merton, Kensington & Chelsea. This comes as Wandsworth’s 58 councilors voted to lower council tax earlier this year. In March, it became the only council in London to cut tax, reducing the cost residents pay by 1 per cent.
The vote meant Wandsworth retained its position as the cheapest borough for residents in the UK. Ravi Govindia, the Conservative council leader at the time, said: “With households facing rising energy bills and other increasing costs, it is more important than ever for the council to be making sure our residents get true value for money by paying the lowest possible council tax bills while still enjoying high quality services. ”
“Wandsworth is in a unique position to be able to do this because of the way we have carefully and prudently managed our finances over the years,” Cllr Govindia added. “That efficiency is now reaping the benefits for our residents with a net decrease in our share of council tax bills from April.
“Wandsworth has an unrivaled track record over many decades of making sure its residents pay some of the country’s lowest council tax bills and I’m proud that this year we are the only town hall in London planning to actually reduce our share of bills.” The borough is administered by 58 councilors made up of 35 Labor representatives, 22 Conservatives, and 1 independent councilor since the May 2022 election saw the first Labor majority since 1978.
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