Council Tax budgets and spending

Elected councillors agree a budget each year that shows how much money we will need for the services we will be providing, and where the money will come from. Council Tax has to make up the difference between the amount we receive from other sources and the total it costs us to provide our services. This difference is called the Council Tax requirement.

Council Tax bills also include charges from local town and parish councils, Cheshire Constabulary, and Cheshire Fire Authority. Each of these organisations sets their own budget for the services they provide. 

Council Tax budget summary 2022/23 

For 2022/23, the budgets to be met from Council Tax in the Cheshire East Council area are:

Council Tax budget summary
   £m  £m
Cheshire East Council 254.681 242.849
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire 36.872 34.672
Cheshire Fire Authority 12.917 12.437
Town and parish councils 9.309 9.091

We have increased Council Tax by 2.99% for 2022/23.

The 2022/23 increase is the seventh increase since 2010/11. We froze Council Tax levels for 5 years from 2011/12 to 2015/16, with some central government support. During those 5 years, we saved Council Tax payers a total of nearly £50m and continued to provide services that met the needs of local residents.

There are three reasons for this year's increase: 

  • there is growing demand for social care
  • the costs of providing services continues to rise
  • from 2019/20, we continue to have no general revenue support grant (barring £7,000 allocated for 2022/23)

Business growth is helping to bring in more money from Business Rates, and the growth in house building should mean more Council Tax payers and higher Council Tax income. But it will still be a major challenge to raise the amount of money to cover what's needed.

Changes between the 2021/22 and 2022/23 budgets

We need to raise £12 million more from Council Tax including town and parish charges in 2022/23 than we did in 2021/22. This is due to inflation and higher demand for key services.

Changes between the 2021/22 and 2022/23 budgets
Income or expenditure categoryChange to Council Tax requirement between 2021/22 and 2022/23
Reduced net spending on services -7.1
Increased growth in service demand and inflation pressures 21.0
Increase in Specific Grant -4.8
Increased town and parish council charges 0.2
Change in central budgets 2.7
Total 12.0

How we spend our income

We split our services into service committee areas. 

Spending by service committee area Gross Expenditure Budget 2022-23


Breakdown of income and expenditure by service committee area

Breakdown of income and expenditure by service committee area
Area of spending2022/23 gross expenditure (amount of money needed) - A 2022/23 service specific income (not from Council Tax or Business Rates) - B  2022/23 net expenditure (amount needed after deducting service-specific income) - C2021/22 net expenditure (amount spent after deducting service-specific income) - C 
   £m  £m  £m  £m
Schools  143.271 -143.271 0.000 0.000
Children and Families 77.272 -3.495  73.777  68.194
Corporate Policy 94.672 -56.350 38.322 36.214
Economy and Growth 32.654 -9.144 23.510 21.826
Environment and Communities 54.795 -10.422 44.373 41.899
Finance Sub (Central budgets, reserves and Capital Financing) 16.007 -0.900  15.107  12.678
Health and Adults 178.126 -57.287 120.839  119.044
Highways and Transport 20.673 -8.871 11.802 11.241
Total - D 617.470 -289.740 327.730 311.096


A - The gross expenditure columns shows what we plan to spend in 2022/23

B - Service-specific income includes income from:

  • grants that can only be used for the particular service
  • fees and charges for services
  • other external contributions for the particular service

C - The net expenditure figure is the amount left after deducting the sum in the income column. This is the amount of money we need to cover from general income. General income comes from Council Tax, Business Rates and government grants.

D - The totals line shows that after taking into account income we receive for specific spending areas, we still need to raise £327.7 million to cover the costs of services. This money has to come from general income - Council Tax, Business Rates and central government grants.

Service commissioning

Many of our services are now provided through contracts with other organisations rather than directly by Cheshire East Council staff. This is called commissioning. We then pay the other organisation to provide the relevant services. This money comes out of the relevant service portfolio budget.

We have created our own companies to provide some types of services. We've done this because companies can access funds and sources of income that we as a council can't. A share of the profits from these companies comes back to us to help fund services. For more information about these companies, see  Best Fit services

Sources of general income

Sources of general income
Source of incomeAmount 2022/23Amount 2021/22
  £m £m
Business Rates retained 49.086 49.086
Revenue support grant (central government) 0.007 0.000
Specific grant (central government) 23.955 19.164
Cheshire East Borough Council Tax 254.681 242.849
Total general income  327.730 311.099
Council Funding Sources 2022-23

Capital spending

Our ongoing programme of capital investment includes investment in assets such as roads, land and buildings, equipment and vehicles. 

We often spread the costs and benefits of this investment over a number of years. In 2022/23, we plan to spend £185.3m on capital investment. This spending will be funded by a combination of government grants, affordable borrowing, developer contributions and proceeds from the sale of assets.

Breakdown of income and expenditure by service committee area for capital spending

Breakdown of income and expenditure by service committee area
Service committee areaCapital expenditure 2022/23 
Children and Families 33.8
Corporate Policy 7.1
Economy and Growth 52.0
Environment and Communities   11.0
Finance Sub  4.0
Highways and Transport 77.4
Total  185.3

Detailed budget information

Our budget pages give full details of our budgets. On these budget pages, some areas of spending have the same name as the service portfolio but show a different figure from that given on this page. This is because on the budget pages we break the spending down into a wider number of service areas. To read the full budget breakdown, see Cheshire East budget.  

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Page last reviewed: 04 March 2022