Search results for 'council tax'

council tax westminster

22 Mar

london 9.14am 8C cloudy/sunny monday 2021

the removal guys have come and taken away our excess stuff from the 2nd bedroom, and whilst they were at it, i included the two easy chairs in the living room, which were picked up long ago, when we first moved in. i hardly ever used them. so it was a relief to get rid of them. its nice to get a cleared up flat.

and the council tax demand has landed on the post today too. £827.56 for 2021/22. last year it was £780.28

city of westminstesr .5% increase  409.89

adult social care precept 3% increase  54.01

greater london authority  9.5% increase  363.66

total 6.1%increase 827.56  (for a 2bedroom flat on band D)

so most of the increase is from the london mayor, sajid khan. i think if there is a candidate in the next election (in may) whose main call is to reduce the cost of the administration of his domain i would vote for him or her. 

all this is part and parcel of living in a city, or town, and most of us would pay it, for the convenience of using all the services that a city can provide. i think that is why most of us like to live in towns, cities etc, rather than in the middle of the nowhere countryside. there is a guy who goes round interviewing outriders, people who chose to live it rough in the wild. it is nice to see it, but if u ask any of us whether we want that lifestyle i know what my answer would be, no way!

added 25.3.21 thursday 11.45pm 10C

this article says other areas are being charged much more for their council tax. like £2000 a year or more.

council tax and water bill for 2020/21

16 Mar

london 12.05pm 11C sunny monday 2020

the bill came today for council tax £780.28. consisting of 

city of westminster 1.4% increase £407.65.

adult social care precept 2% increase £40.56

greater london authority 3.6%increase £332.07

total council tax 3.5%increase £780.28. £65.02 a month. mine is a band D property. here is to compare with last year’s. (£753.85). good to compare because i found out it has gone up by £100 since 2018. and most of it is for the  mayor of london’s office. 

water bill for 2020/21, £321.60 £26.80 a month

 

just to give an idea of what the monthly costs are for the other services, 

service charge for the flat £100  monthly. electricity £20 monthly. broadband/ telephone £20 monthly. total including the latest charges, = £230 a month. so this is baseline  cost of living in london in 2020. add to this cost of food, leisure, and one off repair costs. to me cost of food/household stuff is about £40 a month. i have no heating bills, nor transport costs. or rent/mortgage. 

looking at it, i am rather surprised at how cheap my base costs are. only £270 a month to live here in london in this present day in the 21st century. about £62 a week.

council tax2019/20

16 Mar

london 11.39am 11.7C cloudy saturday 2019

its the weekend, so that means i shall be going to the library to read the saturday papers. such is my life now, so humdrum. the post came today with the council tax demand. i expected it to rise, 

city of westminster      2.1% increase  £401.45

adult social care precept       2.0% increase  £31.89

greater london authority  8.9% increase  £320.51

council tax for band D 2019/20   6.1%increase     £753.85 (for a year)

so we pay £78.85 on 1.4.19, then 9 months of £75 a month. direct debit. and have feb and march next year free .

so the biggest increase is the mayor of london’s office. supposedly to pay for more police they say. though i suspect some of it will be because he froze the tube and bus fares, for 3yrs, and have to make up the shortfall by taxing us council tax payers. westminster has the lowest council tax, so other will definitely be paying more than this. it is quite bearable because it is a rise from a low base. 

 

 

my westminster council tax for 2018

19 Mar

london 12.09pm 1.8C cloudy 2018 monday.

i just got my westminster council tax demand in the post. earlier the council wrote to all of us saying they are not increasing the tax, which was true  but i see we still got a small increase because the greater london authority increase their take by 5.1% and there is the adult social care precept which got increased by 2%. so in the end the total increase was 3.2%. to £710.50 for the year. last year it was £688. i am not complaining, because it is still low. if u live alone, you get 25% off. 

5.44pm 3.3C sunny .

i went to chinatown just to wander around, and saw they still have the sale of reduced bagoong, 99p, from £2.60 for 250mg. and i bought it, as well as a reduced priced 100mg fresh chilli 50p. i used to cook a lot with shrimp paste, but have not bothered to do so for some time. now seeing it has got so much cheaper, i shall be using it more. its reduced because it expires may2018. who knows nearer the time, it might reduce even more. they have a lot of it in stock. lookng at the ingredients, there is 30mg of suger and 32mg of salt in 100mg. so quite high , but you only need a spoonful each time, so it is not a lot if u do it that way.

80% is shrimp.

council tax for westminster

22 Feb

london 10.55am 5.3C overcast/cloudy thursday 2018

i have read in the news that westminster council is asking rich residents to volunteer to increase their contributions to the council tax. i thought this means they are sending letters to rich residents, those living in band H properties , if it exists. 

i dont know forgot what the highest band is in westminster. haha. but i do know it is very low, and that those living in houses that are worth more dont get to pay anymore council tax.

but today simon and i got a letter each from westminster council saying they are freezing our council tax, and introducing a new voluntary community contribution initiative.

they said ‘whilst freezing council tax for everyone, we are inviting those living in the most expensive homes to make a voluntary community contribution’. 

i think it sounds like a good idea… hope it takes off and those who live in multi-million £ houses will contribute. maybe we can acknowledge those who do, give them a medal or something haha. just to encourage them to do so. 

the council tax for band D, which is mine, is only £688 a year. it is good to know it will remain so this coming year .

googling it, i find the highest  is band H £1,736 a year. the council is very efficient. street cleaning is very good. and gabbage collection is great. and the recycling bins get emptied regularly so they never overfill. i live in a housing estate, so our caretaker takes out the bins for the trucks to empty, and so we dont even have to remember which day they come to put the bins out. and we dont have to sort out our recycled rubbish into various categories either. so we get the luxury of just dumping everything into the same bins. i dont know why we are exempt from sorting out our recycled rubbish when i hear other councils penalising and fining households for putting rubbish in the wrong bins, or even putting out their rubbish on the wrong day of collection. 

we get added services too, in that our streets are lined with trees, and they need trimming every 2 yrs, and we get all that and dont seem to be charged extra for it. maybe they come under another authorities budget, under road works perhaps. haha. same as the re-paving of our pavements. maybe council is not responsible for that too. 

added. 26.2.18 here is an article saying why many local councils will be increasing their tax. it seems the rise in minimum wages (a decision made by govt)  will increase local council bills. it means care for the elderly will increase as the carer’s wages are increased. this is good for the carers, who are poorly paid in the first place. but it will put a strain on the council budgets. 

 

council tax bill 2017-18

15 Mar

london 2.18pm 14.7C sunny wednesday 2017

2.59pm 15.2C

it came today in the post. we know allready it will increase, because of the cost of old folks care. my flat is in band D. 

 for us here in westminster , the adult social care precept  has added 2% to the bill. £15.41 a year. 

the city of westminster cost has gone up 1.9% to £392.71.

the greater london authority (which pays for the mayor of london and his costs) gone up 1.5% to £280.02.

overall the cost of council tax for 2017-18 gone up 2.9% to £688.14.  

last year it was £668.20

we are fortunate that here in westminster, with some of the highest cost of residential property in the land, our council tax is really very low. we get to pay it in installments of 10months. it is about £69 a month. the first installment will be collected next month , april.

generally april is a big spending month, what with water bill, now this council tax, and i am waiting for the annual service charge invoice to come soon with its half yearly assessment to be paid. and i got a letter from the estate  management saying they will now include installment plans for major works that are coming. something like £4000 for a new water tank for our block, and another £2000 for something else which i forgot. these things do need doing and will cost, but hopefully they will not cost over the estimate, and they would spread out payment over a long period. before we used to have to pay up when the work is done. all in one lump sum. so now spreading it out will be good, i think.

now those who are thrifty and saved up for it, will not be caught on the hop. all those who are thrifty can pat themselves on the back. this is the reward for all that saving and leading a thrifty life. haha. 

added. 5.51pm it seems kew gardens hit 18.8C today, so today is the highest hit this year. but of course, it is not saying much because 18C is not very hot. you can sit out in the sun in that kind of temperature and u wont burn that much. here in my part of london, i see the weather website went up to 15.9C max. 

 

 

service charge 1oct19-31march20

28 Sep

london 5.17pm 18C cloudy saturday 2019

estimated cost £510. half yearly. so roughly about £1000 a year. hmm, it was about £1200 last time. so maybe this is an underestimate. this is the cost of running the housing estate.

cost of council tax for my flat in band D is about £710 a year.

so that is the total  cost of service charges of having a flat here in central london.

there is water charges £320 a year , utilities like telephone(broadband) £240 a year. and electricity £1200 £216 a year.  but those are variable according to usage, and that is it. another £2000 £800 a year would cover all that. i think. so total £3700 £2700 for a year. so roughly about £7.40 a day. (i am really surprised why i made that mistake with the electricity costs. i think i confused my usage of 1200kwh, for the cost, so i recalculated. all in total cost in running the flat £225 a month.)

of course, most people will be paying more because of rent or mortgages. not me that is why my impression that it is very cheap to live in central london might  not be normal. i dont know how much rent a 2bed flat in central london costs nowadays.(at a guess perhaps £2000 a month here in westminster, that would be a hefty £24000 a year. a sum that i cannot imagine paying. i can understand how and why the rent is the biggest expense for everyone). but i think if i were renting on my own, i would go for a room , and that would be about £800 a month. i think, inclusive. it wont be so easy living, as i would have to share with the owner, and a lot of people are not that easy -going to share a kitchen with. but you can see, if i dont allready own my flat outright, i would never be able to live in london, with an income of about £666 a month .

even my food bill and household bills (cleaning , eg washingupliquid,laundry liquid,toiletpaper,that kind of thing) is very low. they total about£40 a month average i think. and i get free transport too. so all in all, it is really very cheap to live in london for someone like me. and i dont even deprive myself of anything.

are there a lot of people like me i wonder? i mean all people over 60yrs in london gets free transport. and i know of some pensioners who live around here who have rent controlled flats which are kept low because of their age. and there is even a govt scheme to top up a old person’s income if it is below a certain level so that they get it increased to about £600 a month. i just happen to get that from my various pensions, so am not eligible for the top up. even then , the income is more than adequate for my daily expenses, in fact, i save a lot of it, without even trying. this is because there is nothing i want to buy … perhaps it is because i dont have bad habits, like drinking and smoking… those two habits can really make u spend and spend. a bottle of wine is about £5 upwards. average about £7. and it is real easy to finish a bottle, if u are a drinker. and the sky is the limit isn’t it, when it comes to drinking alcohol. i am just glad i dont like the taste of alcohol. haha. but in life, we all want something more. we dont like to just exist, do we? so some eat, drink, have sex, travel, what else can a person do to enjoy life?

 

 

loads of bills in april

17 Mar

london 11.40am 10.3C sunny blue sky, but cold wind making it chilly outdoors thursday 2016

i was looking at my financial graph, and noticed at april and october there is always a big spike in spending, when all the bills come calling. i expect anytime to get the water bill, the council tax bill, and my flat’s half yearly estimated maintainance bill. and sure enough today i got the council tax bill in the post.

for a wonder, it remains less than last year, it is £668.81. this even after a 4% hike ,consisting of  2% rise to the  council tax and 2% hike to pay for the increased minimum wages that comes into force in april and which is used  to pay  for old people carers.

this is offset by  a decrease of a whopping 6.4% decrease by the london mayor’s bill, which pay for the greater london authority. good ol boris, he reduced it, and so overall there is a 0.6% reduction in the final bill. (that is what it is written in my invoice given to me by westminster council, though if u do the maths, it is more like a balance of 2.4% reduction. or nevermind the percentage but simply compare last year’s with this year, and it is .6% less. sigh, maths is not my strong point, obviously. haha.) or what is more likely there is a bit of creative accounting going on. still, i dont mind as the final thing is that it has not gone up. that is the important thing.

but other councils not in london but outside it, wont be so lucky and will have to bear the full brunt of a 4% raise.

i know what  my water bill is going to be, half of which they will take out on 1st april. and so there is only this waiting for the service charge bill for the flat.

makes me want to vote for a conservative mayor rather than the labour’s candidate in the coming mayor’s election.

labour always overspends, because they are very free with other people’s money. there is that joke that goes if u are a one legged, black, lesbian single mother, u got it made.

tgif

26 Feb

london 11.17am 7.8C friday 2016. sunny

it’s the tgif day. (thank god its friday). i myself dont consider it different from any day, but when i was working, it is a special day. it marks the start of the weekend. i wonder in malaysia they will take thursday as the tgif day. they will call it tait, (thank allah it is thursday). 

now everyday is a tgif day for me. i was in the library earlier and everything seems like normal. there is no clue to this day being so special during the working hours. it is after work, that you  get an idea of the difference.

long queues of traffic to get out of london, for eg. are they all  people who go to the country for the weekend? i wonder how many do that nowadays, have a country house to go to for the weekends, surely not many? then who are those people who are clogging up the motorways on the friday getaway  these days?   the motorway is always jammed on a friday afternoon. maybe they are all commuters who are making an early getaway home haha. 

i remember long ago, when i wander around chelsea, the kings road,knightsbridge in the weekend, you do notice a certain empty feel about the place. huge gaps in the resident car parking bays, for eg.  i dont think that is so now, as most are foreigners and many of them dont even live here during winter, whilst in summer the place is jumping even in the weekends.

for me who lives here all year round, i dont notice the difference between weekdays and weekends. not now anyway and not in my area. granted my area is not the posh side. it is full of council flats and ex council flats. this little enclave used to be a labour stronghold, just behind the tate britain; until the flats gradually got sold and now it is a conservative safe hold. haha. i have seen the transition, and i think most of us approve of the conservative council, they have kept the council tax the lowest in all uk, for years… and that is a good thing as far as us council tax payers are concerned. haha. 

i read in an article from a brit who lives in newyork, telling us what he/she dislike about new york, and it seems you are forced to buy  eat out , everyone does it. and it seems it is because buying the ingredients to make the dish is so much more expensive than just buying it all cooked by some eating place or other. it works out cheaper…thank goodness it is not the case in london. it is still very much cheaper to buy the individual ingredients and cook it yourself rather than buy out. this is because we in london can still buy  really cheap fruits and veg and basics. this even in supermarkets like tescos,sainsburys which have branches in the rich part of london as well as the outskirts. they are catching up on lidl and aldi, which are based far outside the centre.

you might say how sad that u cannot buy affordable cooked food from eating place, but actually u can, but even if they are affordable they do cost a lot more than just cooking it yourself. a macdonalds big mac plus fries can be as low as £1.99. but u can get make one yourself for even less. it seems this is not the case in new york. for some reason their grocery stores dont seem to have competition, so can charge high. or the people there dont have flats which make cooking easy, or they share with so many others it is not practical for all of them to cook, so they buy food from outside. takeaway must be a huge business in new york. even their sitcoms shows people buying out at the drop of a hat. in those small chinese style boxes that dont seem to carry a lot of food. and might leak gravy… which suggests that they dont have food that got much gravy or sauce. so their curry must be dry… 

normally a 400mg basic mince beef is 1.90, and u can make 4 or 5 burgers … or if u are like me, yesterday i bought a 600mg mince beef from tesco for 50p, it can be even cheaper than that.

not that i make burgers out of it, i decided i would make a curry mince beef, it takes so much less effort and time to cook. and mincedbeef curry on rice, or bread, or mash potatoes, is just as delicious if not more so than a burger.

another gripe of new york, is that u cannot see the blue sky … and it hit me that in london the sky is seen very easily. and being able to see blue sky i think is one of the hidden joys of life. it such a small thing, but i find it makes me very happy to be able to see it.

another gripe in new york is rats/cockroaches in people’s flats. too hot in summer and too cold in winter. london dont have any of those. or rather if they are cockroaches or rats  around, i dont see them. haha. in all the time i have lived here i have never seen it in the flats or bedsits that i stay at. i have seen mice walking  between the tracks of the underground , and they look very cute, because they are so small. though that was a long time ago, and they might have gone now;  but no rats. 

20 Dec

london 8.36pm sunday 2015

i read that the young dont seem to like vintage furniture anymore, the prices of those are coming down. maybe it is nothing more than the prices correcting themselves as they rise and rise. there must come a point when people just dont think it is value for money and the prices fall. so i think that time has come, and it is not anything to do with vintage furniture going out of fashion with the younger generation.

 furniture is something that we can take or leave. unlike houses, that is why house prices keep going up and up and dont seem to have a ceiling. the only way house prices fall is if the  whole city falls out of favour, like detroit.

people start to leave in droves and that is when prices will plummet. can u see a time when it happens to london? i don’t. i think prices will rise, eating out in restaurants, entertainment, bars and clubs, be prepared to see their prices rise. but at the same time, i think we will find businesses springing up to cater to the low end of the market.

£ shops, pop ups eating places, macdonalds/kfc, burgerkings. just to mention the most obvious.

home cooking will remain the most affordable way to live. no matter how much price rises, i think it is still possible to find bargains in raw ingredients, vegetables, some meats(pork) will be affordable.

i think that is the future. even now i can see places that are historically low priced countries, like malaysia, thailand, etc are rising in price. they are not as cheap as they used to be. price rises are inevitable.

i think places like london are just foretelling how the rest of the world  will be in future. but dont despair; even here in london, some things are cheaper than others.

it is possible to live quite cheaply here in london. i am doing it. and i think that will be the strategy of many astute people in london in future. there will be a subculture of low cost living in london that is hiding underneath the very expensive official image of london that is presented to the tourist , the rich, and the tax man.

already the internet is making it possible to run your own business using your  home as the base , cab driving, sharing services, catering in the home and holding home dinners, i can see a time when u can run a business entirely based on the internet and from no official premises,getting your customers all within that media.

hmm,  i wonder how i got to get to talking of the economy in london in future;  from just ordinary musings about what i read.

i was enjoying myself today by going to the library which opens on sunday and reading the sunday papers. very relaxing, and then i caught the bus 23 just as it came to the bus stop, and it took me to picadilly circus, via oxford st,( that part of it between bond street tube and oxford st tube is really jammed with shoppers. )just so i can go to chinatown to buy darksoya sauce.

i wonder when did i last buy it?, i think about 2 months ago. i got a finance app ( called finance41)in my chrome book, but ever since it start asking me to pay a subscription, it has been limiting my access to it. it is a very good program though, very easy to use and to understand. but i only use it to record how much veg , meat, etc i buy a month. haha.

last month, i spent £105.06, of which £67 was council tax. and £15 was for 20kg of rice. so that balance of  £23 for food etc.

there was a time when it was a feat to spend £1 a day on food, and i am spending less than that a day. i am amazed really at that month, which goes to show that £1 a day on food is attainable but i am not sure it is sustainable. i cannot access the other months to see how often i reach that target(that is where the website restricts me)  but as i said,  it is really very cheap to live in london. i think it is rare that i exceed £50 a month on food etc.

ideally i should just open up a spreadsheet and put all my purchases on it, that way i dont have to rely on any third party. but i dont know how to make a spreadsheet. haha. there are gaps in my knowledge and this is one of them, making a spreadsheet presentation.

in fact, a lot of office stuff i dont know how to do. windows office is a mystery to me. and now forever will remain a mystery as i am with chrome now and windows is not accessible to me. maybe google doc has a similar thing, but i dont know where it is. ah well, just as well, because just my wanting  to know what i spend on  is not very important. i just make sure my outgoings never exceeds my income, and that is that… budgetting make easy. haha.

it would be nice to know the percentage of things that i spend on, and how often, but that is only for curiosity’s sake. i mean it is nice to know how often i buy soya sauce, but it is so far in between, that it is not expensive.

i think that is the secret of living within your means. dont splash things about and use things excessively. washing liquid and laundry washing is a case in point. i have seen people (I am looking at simon now haha) being heavy handed when it comes to using the soap. he used to go through a fairy liquid bottle very quickly… so much so that i think even he realises it is too expensive to continue. he has stopped buying them and let me buy my 33p tesco basic washingupliquid, and £1.50 basic tesco laundry liquid. haha. and even then i dilute them.

you see fairy liquid advertising how they are like 50% more strong than other brands and so u can do 50% more washes, and more plates … but they know that people will just splash it on even if it is more concentrated and use up as much. their bottles dont have a stop that delivers a fixed amount at any one time. that is why  a plunger on the bottle would be a good addition. but u never see any of these bottles sold with a plunger.