An innovative scheme will encourage Westminster’s wealthiest residents to make a voluntary contribution to help pay for local projects. More than 400 people responded positively to the survey saying they would support the scheme.
Residents of the most expensive properties will be asked if they will consider voluntarily paying double the amount that they would normally contribute in Westminster’s share of the Council Tax (which is the lowest in the country). For 2018/19 this is £833 for Band H properties. However, any voluntary amount would be up to the contributor should they choose to take part.
The City Council intends to help protect families whose finances are under pressure by freezing the amount people have to pay in Council Tax for 2018/19, with the exception of the rise in the adult social care element.
Councillor Nickie Aiken, Leader of Westminster City Council, said: “We remain determined to help those on lowest incomes by freezing their Council Tax. We are proud of having the lowest Council Tax in the country whilst maintaining high quality services.
“The outcome of our consultation reflects the kind and generous spirit of Westminster residents. It also confirmed what I had heard from people I had met on the doorstep that those in the more expensive homes are willing to contribute more to community projects. The scheme is most popular among residents of the most expensive homes.”
Providing the final decision is taken to proceed, letters will be sent to Band H householders with details about the introduction of the voluntary Westminster Community Contribution. The council will stress that there is absolutely no pressure to contribute if people do not wish to do so.