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Council Tax - explained

Your Council Tax bill for this year will soon be landing on your doorstep. Here’s what you need to know.

Councils are funded through a combination of business rates, central Government grants and your Council Tax. We also generate income through one off grants, rents and investments. The council’s budget for 2024/25 has been recommended by Mayor and Cabinet to move forward to Full Council on 29 February 2024. 

In Lewisham, Council Tax raised locally to fund services, rather than being funded by Government, which has decreased significant from 2014. 

Reduced funding leaves us in a difficult position, and we have to make difficult decisions; at a time when a cost-of-living crisis, a huge demand on housing and temporary accommodation, and high energy costs, and inflation are really having an impact. 

We don’t want to increase Council Tax, but if we don’t, we won’t have the money to look after the vulnerable, as well as continue to fund the important services we all need and value, like community safety, parks, libraries, leisure centres and youth services. 

To keep these services going, we will increase your Council Tax by 4.99%. Forty percent of this will go directly towards funding adult social care, which supports people with disabilities, mental health issues and dementia, as well as our elderly residents. 

How will this affect you? 

In Lewisham average Band D properties will pay an extra 4.99% - about £2.15 per week. The Mayor of London is also increasing his share of Council Tax, meaning in total average bills will go up by nearly £12 a month. 

What does your Council tax go towards? 

  • 31,500 young people in our 75 schools, with 98% rated Good or Outstanding  
  • 17 million bins collected (that’s nearly 7,000 London red buses)  
  • Maintenance of our 48 parks and green spaces and retained our Green flags status  
  • 12 libraries with books, employment support, and digital access, which are visited nearly 1 million times 
  • 1.3 million visits across six leisure centres  
  • Nearly half a million customer service transactions 
  • We have worked with local charities to launch 60 warm hubs across the borough
  • Supported 4,500 adults through Adult Social Care Supporting 1,000 children in care and care leavers. 

Help paying your Council Tax 

We know that times are tough and we are doing everything we can to support those who may find it difficult to pay. We are continuing to invest in our Council Tax Reduction Scheme, so if you’re worried about paying your Council Tax, please speak to us – as support may be available.  

We also have several resources available at our online support hub.

If your financial situation has changed recently you may also be eligible for other support.  

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