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What your Council Tax pays for

Council Tax is a locally set tax, payable on all homes in the borough, whether they are owned or rented. Your Council Tax is your contribution to the many services the council provides such as schools, roads, libraries, support for vulnerable children and adults, and rubbish collections.

Council Tax also pays for the police, the fire service and many other local services.

Message from Councillor Dominic Twomey, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Core Services

Councillor Twomey, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance & Core Services explains, in this 2 minute video, what your Council Tax is spent on and how 70% of the council’s budget is spent on caring for vulnerable adults and children.

Here he explains this year’s 2.99% Council Tax increase and how the council is investing in different projects to improve residents’ lives and make the borough a better place where no one is left behind. 

Find out if you can save money on your energy bill 

Council Tax increases

We made the difficult decision to increase Council Tax by 2.99% this year. That’s an increase of 69p per week for the average family (that’s a family paying Band D).

The increase will raise £1.8 million and we are putting £600,000 of this directly towards social care costs, to help vulnerable children and adults. The rest of the money raised through Council Tax will help us pay for other services.

Council Tax information for 2019/20

Financial info

2018/192018/192018/19 2019/202019/202019/202019/20
Gross expenditureIncomeNet expenditureService areaGross expenditureIncomeNet expenditureNet expenditure
£'000£'000£'000 £'000£'000£'000per resident (£)
68,100(31,653)36,446Adult and Social Care68,893(30,399)38,493175
12,686(6,888)5,798Customer Services12,862(9,058)3,80417
4,536(3,532)1,004Running the council 10,961(3,680)7,28133
15,705(6,547)9,158Parks, Libraries and Culture15,599(8,461)7,13733
95,396(25,330)70,066Children's and Education Services98,930(22,846)76,084347
32,561(19,106)13,455Roads and Transport33,202(19,283)13,91963
170,205(165,191)5,014Housing Services161,713(156,161)5,55125
4,962(2,755)2,207Planning and Regeneration4,925(3,022)1,9039
17,101(17,101)0Public Health15,955(15,955)00
438,485(285,847)152,638Total expenditure on General Fund services439,196(276,630)162,566741
2,582(311)2,271Interest payable and receivable4,974(311)4,66321
872(5,077)(4,205)Investment properties807(5,322)(4,516)(21)
396(815)(419)Net trade undertakings396(815)(419)(2)
(17,388)0(17,388)Other General Fund balances(26,631)0(26,631)(121)
(13,538)(6,202)(19,740)Corporate income and expenses(20,454)(6,448)(26,902)(123)
12,471012,471Levies from other bodies13,156013,15660
437,418(292,049)145,368BUDGET REQUIREMENT431,897(283,077)148,820678
   Funded by:    
  63,225Government Formula Grant   00
  17,657Retained Business Rates  79,161361
  5,965Government specific grants  7,87336
  0Surplus / (deficit) on collection fund  00
  86,847Subtotal  87,034396
  58,521Barking and Dagenham's Council Tax  61,786281
  145,368TOTAL FUNDING  148,820 
  48,782.31Council Tax base (equivalent number of Band D properties)  50,008.54 
                  1,199.63 Band D Council Tax (£)                1,235.50  

As part of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement (November 2015) it was announced that councils would be allowed to increase their share of Council Tax by up to an extra 2% provided it is used to fund the increasing costs of adult social care services. This additional Council Tax charge is known as the adult social care precept.

The government then announced during its local government finance settlement that from 2017/18 local authorities will be allowed to use the social care precept to raise Council Tax bills by 3% in 2017/18 and a further 3% 2018/19 with no increases in 2019/20.

The council chose to increase the Council Tax bill for 2017/18 and 2018/19 by 3% as it continues facing unprecedented demand and cost pressures for adult social care.

The government stated the precept must be shown as a separate charge on all Council Tax bills. The income generated from this charge is ring-fenced, meaning it can only be used for adult social care services.

Adult social care services support some of the most vulnerable members of our community, largely supporting those in old age and adults with disabilities.

For 2019/20 there will not be an adult social care precept charge as the council chose to raise the social care precept by 3% in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Whilst this precept has been helpful in meeting the increasing demands for these services, it is still not enough.  The pressures of meeting the needs of our most vulnerable residents – both children and adults – continue to grow. 

This year, as part of the general increase in Council Tax, we are designating one third to further support social care services, for our most vulnerable children and those with special educational needs and disabilities.  This will form just part of additional investment that we are making into these services.

If you are on a low income, you can claim Council Tax Support, which may meet some or all of your Council Tax bill payments. If you claim Universal Credit or soon will, remember that this will not cover your Council Tax costs and needs to be claimed separately.

Council Tax support is no longer backdated and will only be awarded from the Monday following the date your application is submitted/received.

If you have been placed in the borough by another council that pays your Housing Benefit, you must still apply for Council Tax support in Barking and Dagenham via our website.

You may be eligible for a reduction in your bill if you satisfy certain criteria, for example if you are the only adult resident or if you are a full time student. There are a range of discounts and exemptions available which cover a variety of circumstances.

You can choose to spread your Council Tax instalments over 12 months rather than 10, making it easier to pay; you must inform us before your April instalment is due if you wish to do this (as your instalment plan must end in March 2019).

Changes in our expenditure

The explanation for the increase in expenditure compared with 2018/19 is summarised below.

Budget 2018/19 before reserves usage148,159
Service pressures and improvements10,456
Contributions from reserves and other0
Budget 2019/20148,820

Council Tax

The actual amount we charge you, the Council Tax payer, is £61.786 million which equates to a band D equivalent of £1,235.50. The actual amount that the Greater London Authority charges you this year is £16.028 million, or the equivalent of £320.51 at band D. The total charge for 2019-20 is £1,556.01 (£1493.86 2018/19).

Council Tax 2018/19Band D Council Tax (£)
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham£1,199.63
Greater London Authority£294.23
Council Tax 2019/20Band D Council Tax (£)
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham£1,235.50
Greater London Authority£320.51

Charges from other bodies

Greater London Authority (GLA)

Greater London Authority (GLA)

This is Sadiq Khan’s third budget as the Mayor of London. It is built around his vision of a London where nobody feels left behind and where everyone has the opportunity they need to fulfil their potential. It supports London’s future growth and economic success, building on our city’s thriving economy, extraordinary creativity, tolerance, diversity and openness to the world.

Sadiq Khan will not tolerate any waste of public money, particularly against a background of tightening resources from the government over the last decade.

This year’s budget has required some tough choices. It will improve the key services Londoners need. That means ensuring transport fares are more affordable and building more homes. The budget provides resources to support jobs and growth, tackle rough sleeping and make London a fairer and cleaner place to live too. It also provides extra resources from Council Tax and business rates for the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade to keep Londoners safe. This will help offset the ongoing impact of real terms cuts in government grant since 2010.

Council Tax for GLA services

The GLA’s share of the Council Tax for a typical band D property has been increased by £26.28 (or 50p per week) to £320.51. The additional income raised will fund the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade. Council taxpayers in the City of London, which has its own police force, will pay £78.38.

Council Tax2018-2019Change2019/20
MOPAC (Metropolitan Police)218.1324.00242.13
LFC (London Fire Brigade)50.222.7853.00
TfL (Transport)2.04-0.042.00


Investing in frontline services

This budget will enable the Mayor to fulfil his key priorities for London. These include:

  • making transport more affordable. Single bus fares, single pay as you go fares on the Tube and DLR and Santander cycle hire scheme charges will be frozen until at least 2020. This will save travellers around £40 million a year. A new bus and tram one hour Hopper fare has also been introduced;
  • continuing to tackle London’s housing crisis, using £4.8 billion of funding to support starts of 116,000 new affordable homes by 2022;
  • providing the best policing service possible within the funding made available by the government with resources being provided in his budget for an additional 1,300 police officers in 2019-20;
  • providing extra resources to support disadvantaged young Londoners and protect vulnerable children and women at risk of abuse and domestic violence;
  • providing sufficient resources to the London Fire Brigade to ensure that first and second fire engines arrive, on average, at emergency incidents within six and eight minutes respectively;
  • working with London boroughs to maintain existing concessionary travel and assisted door to door transport schemes. This includes free 24 hour travel for the over 60s, the disabled, armed forces personnel in uniform and eligible war veterans and protecting the Taxicard and Dial a Ride schemes. Discounts on travelcards are also available for apprentices;
  • increasing capacity on the London Underground and working to complete the Elizabeth line (formerly Crossrail), the Northern line extension to Battersea power station and the Overground extension to Barking Riverside as soon as possible. The Mayor will also maintain the Night Tube and Night Overground services;
  • investing £2.3 billion in healthy streets by 2024 to fund projects to enable more walking and cycling across London. The Mayor will also introduce the ultra low emission zone in central London to tackle local air pollution;
  • making public transport more accessible for everyone. Step-free access is planned to be introduced at a further 15 suburban tube stations by Spring 2020. All new Elizabeth line stations will be step free; and
  • funding projects to bring Londoners together, promote arts and culture, help tackle inequality, improve the environment, and boost London’s economy.

Summary of GLA budget

The following tables compare the GLA group’s spending for 2019-20 with last year and set out why it has changed. The GLA’s gross expenditure is higher this year. This is mainly due to the impact of extra investment planned by the Mayor in transport, policing and the fire service. Overall the council tax requirement has increased because of the extra funding for the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade. There has also been a 1.9 per cent increase in London’s residential property taxbase.

Find out more about our budget


How the GLA budget is funded (£m)2019/20
Gross expenditure12,232.6
Government grants and retained business rates-4,754.5

Fares, charges and other income

Use of reserves4.6
Amount met by council taxpayers (£m)960.6


Changes in spending (£m)2019/20
2018-19 Council Tax requirement865.7

Efficiencies and other savings

New initiatives641.1
Other changes (for example fares revenue and government grants)-538.9
2019-20 Council Tax requirement960.6
East London Waste Authority (ELWA)

East London Waste Authority (ELWA)

ELWA has the statutory responsibility for the disposal of household and commercial waste collected by the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham and Redbridge, and for the provision of reuse and recycling centres in its area.

Waste disposal is carried out under a 25-year integrated waste management services contract with Renewi plc (previously Shanks Waste Management Ltd.), supported by funding via the government’s private finance initiative.

Budget 2019/20

ELWA’s total levy requirement is £67,488,000 (2018/19: £64,770,000). Inflationary increases in operational costs and landfill tax and provision for increases in the amount of waste as the population grows, as well as planned increases to reserves for future waste arrangements have resulted in a 4.2% average levy increase.  The increase for the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham is 3.27%.

The major part of the ELWA Levy is apportioned on the basis of relative amounts of household waste delivered to it by each of the four constituent London Boroughs, with the remainder apportioned according to their Council Tax Bases.

The Levy on the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham for 2019/20 is £12,535,000 (2018/19: £12,138,000).

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority is a unique leisure, sports and environment destination for all residents of London, Essex and Hertfordshire. The 26 mile long, 1,000 acre park, much of it former derelict land, is partly funded by a levy on the Council Tax. This year there has been no increase in this levy. 

More about hundreds of great days out, world class sports venues and award winning parklands 

Budget/levy changes - 2018/19 to 2019/20 (£'000)

Authority operating expenditure 11.210.6
Authority operating income(3.3)(2.7)
Net service operating cost7.97.9
Financing costs: - Debt servicing/repayments0.50.5
                            Capital investments 1.21.2
Total net expenditure9.69.6
Total levy (9.6)(9.6)
London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA)

London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA)

The London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) raises a levy each year to meet expenditure on premature retirement compensation and outstanding personnel matters for which LPFA is responsible and cannot charge to the pension fund.  These payments relate to former employees of the Greater London Council (GLC), the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) and the London Residuary Body (LRB).

For 2019/20, the income to be raised by levies is set out below.  The Greater London levy is payable in all boroughs, the Inner London levy only in inner London boroughs (including the City of London).  The figures show the total to be raised and, in brackets, the percentage change on the previous year.

Inner London     £13,065,200     
Greater London    £10,317,753 
Total£23,382,953 (0%)
Environment Agency - south east region

Environment Agency - south east region

The Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) Regulations 2011.

The Environment Agency is a levying body for its flood and coastal erosion risk management functions under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Environment Agency (Levies) (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

The Environment Agency has powers in respect of flood and coastal erosion risk management for 5,200 kilometres of main river and along tidal and sea defences in the area of the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. Money is spent on the construction of new flood defence schemes, the maintenance of the river system and existing flood defences together with the operation of a flood warning system and management of the risk of coastal erosion.

The financial details are:

Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee






Gross expenditure

Levies raised£11,351£11,577
Total Council Tax base£5,001£5,085

The majority of funding for flood defence comes directly from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). However, under the new partnership funding rule not all schemes will attract full central funding. To provide local funding for local priorities and contributions for partnership funding the Regional Flood and Coastal Committees recommend through the Environment Agency a local levy.

A change in the gross budgeted expenditure between years reflects the programme of works for both capital and revenue needed by the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee to which you contribute. The total Local Levy raised by this committee has increased by 1.99% 

The total Local Levy raised has increased from £11,351,056 in 2018/19 to £11,576,942 for 2019/20.

Council Tax general enquiry

We want to help you understand Council Tax and how to pay it. The best way to contact us for help or information is to use our Council Tax general enquiry form.

To use the form, you need to be signed in to your Barking and Dagenham Council My Account. If you don't have a My Account, you can register for My Account.

Council Tax general enquiry form