Donations to Westminster Council’s ‘community contribution’ scheme by wealthier residents in Westminster plummeted by 68% in 2021, new figures uncovered by Westminster Labour reveal.
Under the scheme, Westminster invites residents in council tax band H to pay voluntary extra money, which will go to a charity and be spent on helping young people, rough sleepers and to avoid loneliness in old age.
In the first couple of years the scheme raised over £1m. In the pandemic year of 2020-21, with everyone looking out for each other, some £512,000 was given. This money has been distributed to good causes in Westminster.
The latest figures for 2021-22 show only £162,000 has been contributed, a 68% fall in one year. The invitation to contribute to the fund went out days after the Council announced plans for the Marble Arch Mound, whose initial cost of £2m soon rose to £6m.
Westminster Labour’s finance spokesperson Councillor David Boothroyd said:
“When Boris Johnson’s Westminster Conservatives waste money, it’s local people who suffer. Who would voluntarily give money to such a spendthrift council? Now it seems wasting money on the mound means less money given to help local young people, elderly and rough sleepers.”
He added: “The Mound’s Conservative backers are all on the ballot papers on Thursday. Labour will freeze council tax by not wasting residents’ money.”
In 2018-2020 the City of Westminster Charitable Trust received £1,103,720 in income, mostly from the Community Contribution scheme. Figures for donations received since then are: