Tag Archives: council tax

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. 



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.

cost of maintaining a flat in westminster, london

2 Apr



Strange, i wrote the post but it disappeared when i posted it.So here goes again.

this is for my own reference though it might interest those curious to know how much it actually costs to live in london in a 2bdroom flat on first floor in borough of westminster, london.

Council tax for westminster for 2014-2015 £676.74

Service charge for my block and estate. £1200 a year (I pay 4% of my block charges, 0.25% of the estate charges). We dont have lifts thank goodness. 

bbc tv license £145 a year. everyone pays this if they have a colour tv.

water bill £308 a year. we share a communal water tank, so cannot instal individual water meters.

Telephone £120 a year line rental £50 a year broadbandpackage, total £170. 

Total fixed costs £2499.74 or £208.25 a month.

Not bad really considering i am living in central london in a spacious flat.

I have not included electricity charges , food bill etc, as they are variable and under each person’s control. 

Added. For really a comprehensive cost analysis, i should add the 10 yrly requirement to repair/repaint the exterior of the block of flats and that comes to about £70 a month spread out over 10yrs; (£7000 which was the cost last time it was done 2yrs ago).

added.23.4.14 the reason that prompted this post is because this month, april, i was suddenly lumped with a huge bill for these costs. the half yearly water bill, the half yearly service charge bill, the first of the monthly direct debits for the council tax bill. it totaled about £800 for this month. i can see how such sudden jump in costs can derail a person’s budget and throw them into deep debt if they are not the kind of people who save. fortunately i always save so this did not cripple me. not for the first time i am glad i am frugal and save money even if at the time there dont seem any reason for it.instead of spending it because i thought i got lots of money i am glad i did not … now i reap the reward of my frugality.