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What do you use my council tax for?

Council tax is the contribution that people who live in Tower Hamlets make to the many services provided by the borough, such as street lighting, collecting rubbish, schools and libraries, as well as the police and fire service.

The council is required by law to collect money for other organisations through the council tax. These organisations are the Greater London Authority (GLA), the Environment agency, London Pension Fund Authority and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The council cannot influence how much they charge.

For example, the total amount of council tax payable for a Band D property is £1,392.42 in 2020/21.

£1,060.35 of this sum helps pay for council services and the balance of £332.07 is collected on behalf of the Greater London Authority (GLA).

How is council tax going to be spent this year?

The council’s net expenditure in 2020-21 will be £354.5m, which includes income generated through rents, investments and charges for services. The total net expenditure is funded through retained business rates, council tax, reserves and specific grants.



Budgeted net expenditure 2020/21
 Adult Social Care  £101.6m
 Central Services*  £28.2m
 Children's Social Care  £62.7m
 Cultural and Related Services  £14.9m
 Education Services  £39.8m
 Environmental and Regulatory Services  £40.1m
 Highways and Transport Services  £7.5m
 Housing Services  £10.1m
 Planning and Development Services**  £14.6m
 Public Health  £35m

*This includes budgets for employee-related costs, corporate supplies and services, and corporate contingencies

** This includes economic development, community development and sustainability

In addition, the council pays for schools services which are fully-funded by government grants that are restricted to these particular services.

Letter from the Mayor

A letter from John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets about this year's budget.

Further information

There is a thorough breakdown of how your council tax contributes to making Tower Hamlets a great place to live in the 2020/21 Council Tax Booklet.