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Your Council Tax

For the year 2023/24

Find out what your Council Tax pays for and how your bill is calculated.

Most of the Council Tax we collect from you is used for services that are provided by Kent County Council, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and Kent Fire and Rescue Service plus some is used by the parish and town councils. Only 9% of what you pay is used to fund borough council services, which on average is 55p per day.

Here is a breakdown of each £ collected and where it goes

  • Kent Police 11p
  • Parishes 3p
  • Kent Fire and Rescue Service 4p
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough Council 9p
  • Kent County Council 73p

Find out about the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner precept increases for 2023/24 on the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner website (opens in a new window).

Find out about the Kent Fire and Rescue Service increases for 2023/24 on the Kent Fire and Rescue Service website (opens in a new window).

Referendum Limits

Although Council Tax is set locally by democratically elected local members at a public meeting of Full Council the Secretary of State has the power to set a limit above which a referendum must he held. For 2023/24 the limits allowed Kent County Council to increase their Council Tax by up to 5 per cent, comprising a core 3 per cent plus an extra 2 per cent provided this is attributable to funding adult social care.

The Secretary of State made an offer to adult social care authorities. 'Adult social care authorities' are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

The offer was the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional 'precept' on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting its expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016-17.

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner have a limit of £15 which is 6.6 per cent increase over the previous year.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has a limit of 3 per cent increase over the previous year.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service have a limit of £5 which is 6 per cent increase over the previous year.

There are no set limits of increasing Council Tax for Parish and Town Councils.

The table below summarises, for each Council Tax band, the amount of Council Tax allocated to each of the organisations described above.

Kent County Council
(excl. Social Care Precept)
Kent County Council (incl. Social Care Precept)* Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Kent Fire and Rescue Service Total Council Tax (excluding Special Expenses and parish precepts)

This section gives you a breakdown of our income and expenditure.

In line with the rest of Local Government, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s financial position remains challenging with inflation above 10 per cent pushing up expenditure while income is relatively fixed at 3 per cent, creating a widening budget gap. The level of Council Tax increase reflects the need to deliver the Council’s priorities and statutory services, and to strike the right balance with fees and charges and Council Tax payers.

After over a decade of austerity and with Revenue Support Grant from the Government being reduced to zero the Council has had to operate on a very lean base. The impact of the pandemic has significantly reduced the income the Council receives from sales, fees and charges whilst additional pressure from demand for services and high inflation have left the Council with a structural deficit of around £1 million which requires clear political direction to eliminate.

The Government has developed a universal benchmark indicator called ‘Spending Power’ to measure the revenue available to provide local services. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has one of the lowest levels of Spending Power in Kent at just £270 per household and therefore must reconsider the range and quality of services it must provide and those it chooses to offer.

The average general Council Tax for a Band D property will be £141.96 for 2023/24 across the borough.

The borough council also provides certain services in Capel, Southborough, Royal Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall for the benefit of those residents for which the council levies a ‘special expenses’ charge only on Council Tax payers in those respective areas. This expenditure is included in the council’s revenue budget.





Tax Rate
Band D

Capel 0 2 2 2.33
RTW 2375832458 123.20
Rusthall 106711371.29
Southborough 0 2626 5.93




Tax Rate
Band D

Capel 0 2 2 2.40
RTW 24641142578126.95
Rusthall 10910 119 73.46
Southborough 0 27 276.11

The amount of Council Tax you pay will vary where Parish and Town Councils have issued a precept to the borough council.


Tax Rate Band
D dwelling


Tax Rate Band
D dwelling
Benenden 40,930 43.82 46,000 48.76
Bidborough 70,560 128.58 71,970 128.58
Brenchley and Matfield 132,900 91.05 132,585 87.97
Capel 73,225 78.10 79,083 83.04
Cranbrook and Sissinghurst 372,956 139.34 378,153 139.34
Frittenden 17,000 41.80 17,000 41.76
Goudhurst 210,000 154.85 219,800 160.34
Hawkhurst 249,321 118.69 254,070 119.06
Horsmonden 95,820 92.07 101,165 95.65
Lamberhurst 57,000 77.05 59,500 79.46
Paddock Wood 500,977 161.25 757,956 228.50
Pembury 243,624 106.11 247,504 106.19
Rusthall 79,000 49.63 85,000 52.52
Sandhurst 80,000 132.44 85,850 139.06
Southborough 597,245 138.28 651,847 148.49
Speldhurst 166,600 69.11 179,100 73.81

Click here for parish council contact details and town budget information (opens in a new window)

Parish and Town Precepts (exceeding £140,000)

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

2022/23 Gross Spending £000's 2022/23 Net Spending £000's 2023/24 Gross Spending £000's 2023/24 Net Spending £000's
Street Lighting 19 19 1919
Recreation 96 94 10199
Other Services 307 260 321260
Transfer to/(from) reserves     
Total 422373441378


2022/23 Gross Spending £000's 2022/23 Net Spending £000's 2023/24 Gross Spending £000's 2023/24 Net Spending £000's
Street Lighting     
Recreation 54 54 6145
Other Services 171 161 185185
Transfer to/(from) reserves   (5)  (10)
Total 225210246220


2022/23 Gross Spending £000's 2022/23 Net Spending £000's 2023/24 Gross Spending £000's 2023/24 Net Spending £000's
Street Lighting   1313
Recreation 50 40 9987
Other Services 277 209 272214
Transfer to/(from) reserves    (60)
Total 327249384254

Paddock Wood

2022/23 Gross Spending £000's 2022/23 Net Spending £000's 2023/24 Gross Spending £000's 2023/24 Net Spending £000's
Street Lighting 2 2 22
Recreation 313 296 465445
Other Services 240 226 326311
Transfer to/(from) reserves   (23)   
Total 555501793758


2022/23 Gross Spending £000's 2022/23 Net Spending £000's 2023/24 Gross Spending £000's 2023/24 Net Spending £000's
Street Lighting 3 3 55
Recreation 19 13 2014
Other Services 244 211 279229
Transfer to/(from) reserves  17  (1)
Total 266244304247


2022/23 Gross Spending £000's 2022/23 Net Spending £000's 2023/24 Gross Spending £000's 2023/24 Net Spending £000's
Recreation 431 261 437257
Other Services 400 337 464395
Transfer to/(from) reserves     
Total 831598901652


2022/23 Gross Spending £000's 2022/23 Net Spending £000's 2023/24 Gross Spending £000's 2023/24 Net Spending £000's
Recreation 27 26 3029
Other Services 158 140 190173
Transfer to/(from) reserves    (23)
Total 185166220179
2022/23 Spending £000's 2022/23 Per Head £ 2023/24 Spending £000's 2023/24 Per Head £
Tunbridge Wells BC Budget (Net) 13,776 115.86 14,590126.54
Town and Parish Precepts 2,987 25.12 3,36729.20
Financed by Government Grants 4,626 38.91 4,88342.35
Financed by Collection Fund Surplus/(deficit) 145 1.21 2482.15
Financed by Council Tax 11,992 100.86 12,826111.24

Summary of Revenue Budget

These figures exclude the re-allocation of overhead costs, including support service costs, departmental administrative costs and fixed asset depreciation charges to front line services. The ‘Other Services’ heading includes corporate management and a contingency provision.

2022/23 Gross Spending £000's 2022/23 Income £000's 2022/23 Net Spending £000's 2023/24 Gross Spending £000's 2023/24 Income £000's 2023/24 Net Spending £000's
Financial Services 5,995 -6,222 -227 6,674-6,839-165
Shared Services 29,106 -27,035 2,071 27,308-25,0872,221
Housing, Health and Environment 12,142 -6,594 5,548 14,007-7,4606,547
Economic Development 1,715 -1,396 319 1,785-1,409376
Planning and Building Control 2,702 -1,612 1,090 2,802-1,7211,081
Other Services 10,222 -4,073 6,149 10,556-3,8206,736
Budget sub-total61,882-46,93214,95063,132-46,33616,796
Capital Adjustments 325  325 277 277
Interest  -555 -555  -1,540-1,540
Transfer to/(from) Reserves  -944 -944  -943-943
Net budget requirement62,207-48,43113,77663,409-48,81914,590

Your bill will tell you what band you are in and how much you need to pay. Council Tax is calculated based on your band and the area of the borough you live in.

2023/24 charges

ParishBand ABand BBand CBand DBand EBand FBand GBand H
Brenchley and Matfield£1,396.41£1,629.14£1,861.88£2,094.61£2,560.08£3,025.55£3,491.02£4,189.22
Cranbrook and Sissinghurst£1,430.65£1,669.10£1,907.54£2,145.98£2,622.86£3,099.75£3,576.63£4,291.96
Paddock Wood£1,490.09£1,738.44£1,986.79£2,235.14£2,731.84£3,228.54£3,725.23£4,470.28
Royal Tunbridge Wells£1,422.39£1,659.46£1,896.52£2,133.59£2,607.72£3,081.85£3,555.98£4,267.18

Check your band

12 monthly payments

Council Tax is normally spread over 10 monthly instalments. If you wish to pay your bill over 12 monthly instalments please see our change your bill frequency page.

Direct Debit

Paying by secure Direct Debit is the simplest and easiest way to pay your bill.

  • you can pay over 10 or 12 monthly instalments, pay the full amount in one go or pay half yearly
  • sign up online and choose either the 1st or 15th of each month to make your payment
  • you will need your bank details and your Council Tax account number

Set up a Direct Debit


You can pay your Council Tax securely through our online payments site.

To make a payment online you will need:

  • a debit or credit card (Visa and Mastercard only)
  • your nine digit Council Tax account number

Pay online

Telephone payments

Payments can be made securely on our automated telephone payment line.

Telephone: 0800 023 7086

Please follow the prompts to make your payment. You will be given a transaction number when your payment is successfully completed.

Bank transfer or standing order

You can make payment through your own online banking by transferring payment to the Council's account or by setting up a regular standing order.

Please ensure you quote your nine digit Council Tax account number on all payments.

Our bank details are:

Bank: Lloyds Bank
Account name: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Sort Code: 30-00-02
Account Number: 01396914 
IBAN: GB02LOYD30000201396914

Cash payments

Cash payments can be made using the payment kiosk at The Amelia Scott in Tunbridge Wells.

Allocation of payments

If you have outstanding Council Tax arrears for a previous year, and your payment does not match the amount outstanding on the current year, your payment may be allocated towards the arrears rather than where you intend. You will need to contact us to let us know which year your payment is for.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council facts and figures for 2022:

  • Our Housing team worked with partners to prevent around 171 households from becoming homeless over the last year and helped 69 homeless households to secure suitable accommodation.
  • The Bereavement Services team at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium supported over 2,000 families with bereavement services.
  • In Planning and Building Control we:
    • dealt with over 2,946 planning applications in 2022
    • received 495 pre-applications
    • processed 509 applications for works to Protected Tree
    • processed 199 applications for works to a Listed Building
    • received over 1 million views of planning application documents online
  • At the Assembly Hall Theatre we sold 89,716 tickets for shows in 2022.
  • Our Community Safety and Support team has continued to maintain and monitor 43 CCTV cameras across the borough. The CCTV control room covers our Kent Police area and works very closely with Shopsafe and the Pubwatch Business Crime Reduction Partnership.
  • At The Amelia Scott we have welcomed 215,321 visitors since opening on 28 April 2022, that's around 1,000 visitors a day.
  • We had over 4.8 million page views on our website and sent over 630,000 weekly emails to subscribers.
  • We delivered over 220,000 copies of Local Magazine to households in the borough.