A letter from the Leader of the Council
Council Tax 2021/22
Setting a budget each year is a significant challenge for the Council, as we try to balance our finances and use public money where it will make a positive difference to everyone living and working in the borough.
You have told us what is most important to you: housing, education, clean and safe streets. Over the next 12 months we will spend £630m on day to day services and £277m on new homes and the borough’s roads, streets, and green spaces. All of which will help to create jobs, opportunities and build a better future for the borough. Grenfell recovery remains our top priority and therefore we have protected our £50m Grenfell Recovery Fund and plan to spend £10.5m next year.
The unprecedented challenge of Covid-19 will result in additional and significant financial pressure on our budget for the next year and beyond. Many residents and businesses in the borough have been badly affected by the pandemic, and by the economic and social effects of a series of lockdowns.
Prior to Covid-19 the Council had significant financial challenges ahead and the events since March 2020 have meant that the Council has had to navigate a path through a thicket of uncertainty. The current roll-out of vaccinations is bringing some hope of a return to normality - but recovery will be slow.
Like other Councils, we have suffered substantial income losses but have continued to support businesses and care homes, provide personal protective equipment (PPE), made emergency changes to aid social distancing and helped the most vulnerable with food and support. I am proud of our staff who have worked through this pandemic, supporting others and keeping the borough going.
This continuing health crisis has amplified existing inequalities and we must continue to support the most vulnerable in our communities as we work towards recovery over the coming year.
Local businesses have been supported with over £65m of Government grants and the Council has established its own funds to support businesses and individuals through difficult times.
Now the focus is on the future and we have set aside an additional £8m to help mitigate the longer-term economic, social and health damage caused by Covid-19.
All these challenges and continued uncertainty mean that the Council’s own income streams will be increasingly important in funding the cost of the services we deliver.
Your Council Tax this year will rise by 4.99%, an increase of £45.18 a year for the average band D household. The is made of up two separate elements:
- The first is a Council Tax increase of 1.99%.
- The second element is a 3% increase, often referred to as the Adult Social Care precept and the additional income raised will contribute towards meeting the demands for adult social care services.
Your Council Tax will generate almost £94m towards your services. I can reassure you that your Council Tax bills will still be some of the lowest in London and in the country.
We appreciate that in the current situation some people are worried about being able to pay their Council Tax. The Council currently continues to offer the maximum local Council Tax relief for the 13,000 residents on the lowest incomes – one of the very few schemes in the country to still offer 100% support to those who need it.
Further information on the Council’s spending plans, your council tax and support available is on the RBKC Council Tax hub.
Leader, Kensington and Chelsea Council