Budget Update: An extra £10 million for Parks, Libraries and Roads

Today I am announcing a £10 million boost to further improve Wandsworth while freezing the main part of Wandsworth’s council tax which will keep the average bill the lowest in the country.

Our borough is already one of the best places to live in London. We have some of the best parks, low crime rates, our busy town centres are cleaned seven days a week, we are one of the few places that collects refuse on a weekly basis and our libraries are amongst the most popular.

We are not complacent. I am delighted to say that we aim to deliver a £10 million neighbourhood improvement plan primarily focused on our parks, roads and libraries.

At the same time we will commission two studies. One will look at how we can grow our already vibrant arts and cultural scene while the other will look at how we can bring in more creative industries to support regeneration in places like Nine Elms which is already bringing tremendous benefits to Wandsworth, including the borough’s first new tube station in 90 years. 

It comes on top of a commitment to spend £150 million on building 1,000 new homes for people who live and work in the borough, 60 per cent of which will be targeted at people on average or below average salaries.

While Wandsworth is freezing our main share of the council tax, we have agreed to pass on the Government’s two per cent adult social care levy which will raise £1 million for services to help people who are more vulnerable. It will help services like our KITE re-ablement team who restore confidence in people with physical or mental health problems. The quality of that service has just been recognised by the Quality Care Commission.

We are able to improve services and keep our council tax low because of a relentless drive on efficiency, which has been part of our DNA for a generation.

If you come to Wandsworth you will find that virtually all our staff costs are shared with Richmond Council, saving our taxpayers £11 million year. You will also find a culture where staff are empowered to deliver services through social enterprises or mutuals.

My vision for Wandsworth is simple: not only do I want it to be the best place to live in London, I want it to be one that is affordable and a place everyone can get on in life.

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council