How we plan our finances

Managing our budget

By law, we must set a balanced budget for each year. This means each year we should plan to spend no more money than we collect as income.

When we spend less than we collect as income, the amount left over is added to our 'reserves'. This is money set aside so it can be used if – in exceptional circumstances – we need to spend more than we can collect. Councils cannot borrow money to run day-to-day services so it's important we always have money in our reserves.

Our latest statement of accounts shows our current financial position.

Money we spend

The 2 main types of council finance are called 'capital' and 'revenue'.

When we spend money to buy, maintain, improve or extend the useful life of fixed assets – for example, land, buildings, vehicles or equipment – this is called 'capital expenditure'.

When we spend money on the day-to-day running costs of an asset or service, this is called 'revenue expenditure'. By law, the money we collect and spend for day-to-day housing services ('housing revenue') must be kept separate from money for all other day-to-day services ('general revenue').

For more information on these types of finance, go to:

For details of individual payments to suppliers, go to what we spend. We also publish lists of our current contracts.

Our income

We get our income for services from a number of sources. These include:

Go to our income page for an overview of our income sources.

Financial strategies

Our financial strategies set our approach for managing different aspects of our budgets. Updated strategies are agreed by councillors at a meeting of full Council before the start of each financial year (1 April to 31 March).

Our strategies include: