Runnymede to increase share of Council Tax by just £5 per year

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Residents in Runnymede will be asked to pay just £5 more per year in their Council Tax bills to fund public services which the borough council provides, following a vote this week.

The money which households pay in Council Tax is split between:

  • Surrey County Council,
  • Surrey Police and
  • Runnymede Council.

The decision means overall Council Tax bills in Runnymede will rise by 3.88 per cent when households receive their annual statement next month because the County Council and Police have also both increased the amount of money they need to provide services this year.

The County Council receives 77 per cent of people's bills, to fund services like children's and adults social care, roads, schools and libraries.

The police receive 14 per cent, to fund crime fighting, intelligence and community-based activities.

After the £5 average increase, Runnymede Borough Council will receive nine per cent of the total bill to fund its services. The additional Council Tax will support Runnymede's services for the public including:

  • More capacity to deal with planning applications and enforcing breaches of planning permission,
  • Improved systems in collecting refuse, recycling, garden and trade waste,
  • Running elections,
  • Managing around 3,000 council houses,
  • Community services like meals at home and GPS location services,
  • Community transport for the elderly and school pupils,
  • More investment in environmental health,
  • Licensing pubs, clubs and taxis,
  • Managing parks and open spaces,
  • Providing modern, state of the art CCTV across the borough,
  • Running day centres, and
  • Graffiti removal.

Now all three organisations have set out what level of income they require, the exact details of people's total bills from April 2020 can be confirmed. The breakdown for all bands in £ is as follows:

Council Tax arrangements for Surrey County Council, Surrey Police and Runnymede Borough Council
 Band ABand B

Band C

Band DBand EBand FBand GBand H
Surrey County Council1007.641175.681343.521511.461847.342183.222519.103022.92
Surrey Police180.38210.44240.51270.57330.70390.82450.95541.14
Runnymede Borough Council113.06131.90150.75169.59207.28244.96282.65339.18
Total bill1301.081518.021734.781951.622385.322819.003252.703903.24

Council Leader Cllr Nick Prescot said among the authority's priorities for the next year, which Council Tax payments would help fund, would be:

  • Setting up Joint Enforcement Team with the County Council to crack down on fly tipping, littering and other poor or illegal activities.
  • Reconfiguring the Yellow Bus school travel service to become more environmentally friendly and efficient, aiming to expand the service to more schools and children, 
  • Increasing the number of Council staff able to deal with planning enforcement and applications; this is on the back on many residents' requests, and
  • Easier and more efficient ways to purchase and use Council services.

As well as Council Tax, Runnymede Borough Council's spending and its budget are based on income from:

  • Business Rates.
  • Fees and charges from car parks, trade waste collection, hall hire, land searches, planning applications and other sources.
  • Investments, in both UK based financial institutions and in property. The Council has invested significantly in a property portfolio in the last 10 years, which is performing well and has created a regular income through rental payments to support services for local people.
  • Other one-off forms of income such as the New Homes Bonus or individual grants.
  • Payments through service delivery agreements with other areas of the public sector.

Cllr Prescot said: "We are one of the few councils in the South East of England which is not making any cuts to front line services and is investing for the future to make us more effective to meet the needs of digital transformation and provide more agile services. The challenge we have had in the last 10 years has been the loss of the Revenue Support Grant from Government, so instead we have found a pathway through investments to create a sustainable revenue stream to enhance and improve services."

Deputy Council Leader Cllr Marisa Heath said: "Personally, I would like to reduce Council Tax, but we have got to do what we have to do and we should recognise we are still a low taxing authority. We have done a very good job with our investments, officers have managed them prudently but we want to do even more for our residents; we want cleaner and safer streets and to address climate change. We no longer get any government grant at all, so we have to find the money to provide these services."

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