Letter from the Leader of the Council

Dear Camden resident,
 
This has been a deeply difficult year and I want to thank you for all the sacrifices you have made to keep our community safe.
 
Our priority as a council has been to ensure we are supporting everyone to get through the pandemic – like purchasing PPE for frontline workers, supporting COVID-19 testing and doing all we can to support local businesses to survive. We have also kept vital services operating, made sure nobody lost their council home due to COVID-19 and ensured everyone has access to food and other essentials.
 
We know how hard things have been and more people than ever are turning to us for support. We remain committed to being there for everyone but uncertainty around council funding has made this difficult.

Since 2010, the Government has cut our budget by over half, and has still not confirmed our long-term funding, so there’s a lot of uncertainty within local councils across the country about how we will be able to maintain the services that matter to you.
 
When the Government confirmed funding for local councils last year, it was on the basis that the vast majority of it (89% in Camden) would come from increasing Council Tax. This leaves us in a difficult position because if we don’t increase Council Tax we simply won’t have the money to provide important services we all need – like rubbish collection, parks, libraries, community safety and services for young people. Even with this increase it won’t be enough as the cost and demand for our services continues to rise.

We are committed to protecting frontline services and the support so many of our residents rely on but to do this we will have to make savings where we can, and we will also need to increase your Council Tax by 4.99% this year. This means you will pay an extra £1.23 to £3.69 per week depending on your band. Over half of the money raised from this increase will be used to directly protect our social care services, which help and support elderly residents, and those living with dementia, mental health issues and disabilities, so they can live full lives as part of our communities. These services save lives – particularly over the past year – and we must continue to protect them.

We are continuing to invest in our Council Tax Support Scheme, so if you’re on a low income, you may be eligible for a discount in your Council Tax rates and over 18,000 households won’t need to pay any Council Tax at all. Find out more about this and other benefits at camden.gov.uk/benefits
 
We will also invest £1.5 million a year to help unemployed residents access education, training and ultimately fulfilling and secure work that pays a London Living Wage, which is more important than ever due to the impact COVID-19 has had on our economy. For help finding a job or higher-paying employment, visit goodwork.camden.gov.uk
 
Lastly, we know that it’s an incredibly difficult time. If you’re worried about your ability to pay Council Tax, please call us on 020 7974 6414 so that we can help. If you’re struggling with anything else please call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9) or find out more at camden.gov.uk/coronavirus 

Many thanks,
Councillor Georgia Gould
Leader of the Council


 

How much is your council tax?

In the next year we will spend £861.9 million on providing services. The money for this comes from funding from central government, our share of retained business rates, the council tax you pay and other sources of income such as rents and fees.

Your council tax also helps pay for the Greater London Authority (GLA). In 2021/22 people who will pay council tax in Camden will contribute £30.78 million towards the cost of GLA services.

The table below shows how much Camden's council tax is for each band this year. On the front of your council tax bill it will tell you which band your property is in. The band is based on the value of your property. If you live in a garden square, you will pay slightly more to maintain the square. Your bill will also tell you how much you must pay and how you can make your payments.
 

How much is your council tax?

Band     Amount of tax
   for Camden (£)
Amount of
tax for GLA (£)
Total council tax
2021/2022 (£)
A
903.87
242.44
1,146.31
B
1,054.52
282.85
1,337.37
C
1,205.16
323.25
1,528.41
D
1,355.81
363.66
1,719.47
E
1,657.10
447.47
2,101.57
F
1,958.39
525.29
2,483.68
G
2,259.68
606.10
2,865.78
H
2,711.62
727.32
3,438.94

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Search for your council tax band

What we spend your council tax and business rates on

Each year, once we are aware of the amount of funding we will receive from the government, we set the level of council tax to meet the cost of providing council services in the borough.

This table tells you how much we plan to spend on services in the coming year and  how much we spent on them last year. 

 

Our Services   2020/21 (£ in millions) 2021/22 (£ in millions)
Council agreed budget    Spending     Total spending after deducting income              Spending    Total spending after deducting income       
Adult Social Care 134.183 95.834 137.673 98.100
Housing 34.130 20.862 30.410 18.910
Waste & Cleaning Services 35.791 23.301 29.088 22.860
Environment (Parking, highways and transport) 17.881 -26.060 24.267 -26.654
Regeneration, planning and economic development 16.057 -0.442 15.959 -1.664
Culture, communities and customers 27.354 21.459 24.767 18.790
Public Health 22.274 21.901 22.065 21.733
Support Services 56.660 62.177 57.917 63.342
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit 167.490 8.635 167.260 9.926
Education 204.112 15.148 209.042 15.541
Supporting vulnerable families 46.347 39.214 49.313 41.312
Early Years & Young People 40.946 17.786 38.901 17.265
Other Spending 61.699 -50.192 55.221 -66.320

Total cost of our services

864.923 249.624 861.884 233.141

 

How we work out your council tax

The table below shows how we work out the amount to be met by council tax.

Your total bill includes an amount to cover the cost of Greater London Authority (GLA) services.

How We Calculate your Council Tax 2021/22  
  £ in millions
Total cost of Camden services
233.141
Take away the following government grants paid towards the cost of local services:  
Revenue support grant -22.807
Retained Business Rates -100.366
Council Tax Collection Fund Surplus 4.922
Business Rates Collection Fund Deficit 4.617
Cost of Camden Council services which council tax will pay for:
119.507
Take away services covering only some areas of Camden (garden squares).
-0.027
Cost of remaining services which council tax will pay for
119.480
   
Working out the council tax level for 2021/22
           
Council tax base (weighted number of properties in Camden)
88,125
Council tax at band D
£1,355.81

Changes in spending

Changes to spending on services 2020 to 2021 £ in millions
   
2020/2021 cost of service
249.624
                        
2021/22 Inflation                         3.687
2021/22 Service cuts, back office efficiencies and savings
-8.126
Other service adjustments
-12.044
   
Total 2021/22 cost of service
233.141

 

Understanding your business rates bill

Non-Domestic Rates

Non-Domestic Rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1st April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a favourable local environment for growth since authorities will benefit from growth in business rates revenues. The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by local authorities in your area. Further information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs, may be obtained at www.gov.uk.

Rateable Value

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain a full list of all rateable values, available at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/valuation-office-agency. The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1st April 2017, this date was set as 1st April 2015.

The valuation officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. Full details on your rights of appeal are available from the Valuation Office Agency. Your billing authority can only backdate any business rates rebate to the date from which any change to the list is to have effect.

Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the www.gov.uk website or obtained from your local valuation office.

National Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier

The local authority works out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers: the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The former is higher to pay for small business rate relief. Except in the City of London where special arrangements apply, the Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to formulae set by legislation.

The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.

Business Rates Instalments

Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10-monthly cycle. However, the Government has put in place regulations that allow businesses to require their local authority to enable payments to be made through 12 monthly instalments. If you wish to take up this offer, you should contact the local authority as soon as possible.

Revaluation 2017 and Transitional Arrangements

All rateable values are reassessed at a general revaluation. The most recent revaluation took effect from 1st April 2017. Revaluations make sure each ratepayer pays their fair contribution and no more, by ensuring that the share of the national rates bill paid by any one ratepayer reflects changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. Revaluation does not raise extra money for Government.

Whilst the 2017 revaluation did not increase the amount of rates collected nationally, within this overall picture, the majority of ratepayers received a reduction or no change in their bill whereas some ratepayers saw increases.

A £3.6 billion transitional relief scheme limits changes in rate bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there are also limits on reductions in bills. Under the transitional scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier). The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after 1st April 2017, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes. Changes to your bill as a result of other reasons (such as changes to the amount of small business rate relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements.

The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill. Further information about transitional arrangements and other reliefs may be obtained from Camden or the www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates.

More information on the 2017 revaluation can be found at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates/revaluation

Unoccupied Property Rating

Business rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government by order. In most cases the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the unoccupied property rate. Full details on exemptions can be obtained from your local authority. If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of your bill.

Partly Occupied Property Relief

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority has discretion in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Small Business Rate Relief

Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (and who are not entitled to other mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

In addition, generally, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value which does not exceed £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%. For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a 100% reduction in their rates bill.

Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either:

(a) one property, or

(b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,899.

The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must not exceed £19,999 outside London or £27,999 in London on each day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.

The Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Where a ratepayer meets the eligibility criteria and has not received the relief they should contact their local authority. Provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will automatically continue to receive relief in each new valuation period.

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by a ratepayer who is in receipt of relief (other changes will be picked up by the local authority). The changes which should be notified are:

(a) the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and

(b) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.

Charity and Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or the club, and is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs).

The local authority has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Relief for Local Newspapers

The Government is providing funding to local authorities so that they can provide a discount worth up to £1,500 a year for 2 years from 1st April 2017, to office space occupied by local newspapers. This is up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits. The relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). Eligibility criteria for this relief is set out in a guidance note: “The case for a business rates relief for local newspapers”, which can be obtained at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-case-for-a-business-rates-relief-for-local-newspapers

Spring Budget 2017 Relief Scheme: Supporting Small Business

Ratepayers losing Small Business or Rural Rate Relief as a result of the 2017 revaluation will have their increases limited to the greater of either (i) a cash value of £600 per year, or (ii) the matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme. This relief will run for 5 years to 31st March 2022 and rate payers will receive the relief until this date or they reach what their bill would have been within the relief scheme, whichever is first.

This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). Further information can be obtained from your local authority.
 

Spring Budget 2017 Relief Scheme: Discretionary Scheme

The Government is providing £300 million of funding to local authorities over 4 years to 31st March 2021 to provide discounts to ratepayers in their area on a discretionary basis. Each authority has been allocated a share with which to design and implement a scheme to deliver targeted support to ratepayers. The £300m will cover the 4 years from 2017/18: £175m in 2017/18; £85m in 2018/19; £35m in 2019/20 and £5m in 2020/21.

Local authority allocations can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/discretionary-business-rates-relief-scheme

This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). Further information can be obtained from your local authority.

Autumn Budget 2018 Relief Scheme: Retail Discount

At Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a one-third discount for eligible retail businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000, up to state aid limits. This scheme will run for two years from April 2019. This discount will be applied to the bill after the application of any reliefs, excluding any local discounts.

The Government has issued guidance on the operation of the scheme, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/discretionary-business-rates-relief-scheme.

This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). Further information can be obtained from your local authority.

Local Discounts

Local authorities have a general power to grant discretionary local discounts. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.
State Aid. The award of such discounts is considered likely to amount to state aid. However it will be state aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 'de minimis' aid over a rolling three year period. If you are receiving, or have received, any 'de minimis' aid granted during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), you should inform the local authority immediately with details of the aid received.

Hardship Relief

The local authority has discretion to give hardship relief in specific circumstances. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Rating advisers

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS - website www.rics.org) and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV - website www.irrv.org.uk) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further ad-vice before entering into any contract.

Information Supplied with Demand Notices

Information relating to the relevant and previous financial years in regard to the gross expenditure of the local authority is available in the other sections on this page. A hard copy is available on request by writing to the council or at 020 7974 6460.

Business Rate Supplements

The Business Rate Supplements Act 2009 enables levying authorities - county councils, unitary district councils and, in London, the Greater London Authority - to levy a supplement on the business rate to support additional projects aimed at economic development of the area. Business Rate Supplements (BRS) are not applicable to properties with a rateable value of £70,000 or below, and authorities have discretion to increase that threshold. The total maximum BRS which may be levied by a levying authority is 2p per pound of rateable value. Levying authorities have the power to apply such reliefs to the BRS as they think appropriate and in such cases must include an explanation of the rules for the application of those reliefs in the final prospectus for the BRS.

These/this business rate supplement/s is/are being levied by the Greater London Authority in relation to Crossrail. Further information may be found in the BRS project prospectus here

The Adult Social Care Precept

The Secretary of State made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer was the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting its expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016-17. It was originally made in respect of the financial years up to and including 2019-20. This offer has been extended for financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22.