The Council spends £40 million each year and provides a wide range of environmental, leisure and community services. The five highest areas of service expenditure, each exceeding £1 million per annum, are:
- Environmental services, including refuse collection, recycling and street cleansing
- Maintenance of parks and open spaces
- Community, day centre and transport services mainly for the elderly or disabled
- Community venues and leisure services
- Housing benefits, largely reimbursed by government grant.
The Council provides a wide range of statutory services including building and development control, housing advice and environmental health. We have a duty to provide these regulatory services but some other services are provided on the basis that the Council has chosen to provide them. As a result, local services will vary in different Boroughs.
The Council operates a performance management framework designed to ensure that money is spent in a way that provides value for money and that funds raised are carefully allocated to each service. The Council’s Key Priorities and Core Values are set out in our Corporate Plan. Each year, service priorities are determined by elected Councillors who sit on four policy committees; Environment, Leisure, Social and Strategy & Resources. The policy committees also help to ensure that services are delivered within the budgets allocated and to agreed performance targets.
The Council's policy is to maintain the Borough’s Council Tax at or below the average of that set by the Surrey Districts. Although we spend £40 million each year the Council is able to keep council tax down by raising income from many sources and by charging for some services. As a result, the net cost of services that is funded from Council Tax and central government formula grant is less than £10 million.
The Council's financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March. Each year the Council agrees a budget and prepares a Policy Book which includes more detailed analysis of estimates of income and expenditure. Council Tax charges are decided by the full Council each February for the forthcoming year. The Borough Council issues bills covering charges for Surrey County Council and Surrey Policy Authority as well as its own charge. Approximately 11% of Council Tax payments are retained by the Borough Council. The rest of the income is paid over to the County Council and Police authorities to help fund their services. The Council also collects rates from businesses and these are paid over in full to central government who redistributes the funds received nationally to all Councils on a formula basis.
The Council keeps a separate record of its expenditure on delivering services, its 'General Fund Revenue Account', and on its investment schemes which are included in the Capital Programme. The Council’s Policy Book includes a summary of all expenditure plans.
The Council prepares and reports on its Financial Statements within three months of the year end. The Audit Commission appoints independent auditors to inspect the Council's management arrangements and its financial accounts. The District Auditor reports back on his key findings on the Council's financial statements to the Strategy and Resources Committee each September.
Where to find more information
The Council's financial statements and audit reports are published on this web site under Finance Documents.
Council Tax and Benefits
Fees and charges