Planning for the future – Council Budget 2020/21

The budget covers everything we do as a council and sets out how we will fund services for residents in the year ahead.

The first draft of the budget proposals for next year will go to the council’s Policy & Resources committee next week (Thursday 5 December). The draft proposals, which are published today (27 November), are put forward by the Labour administration.

Today’s draft proposals start the annual budget debate and will be reviewed in the next three months until Budget Council on Thursday 27 February 2020.

At Budget Council, all 54 councillors debate and vote on the final budget proposals with the aim of setting the budget for the year ahead.

Council leader, Councillor Nancy Platts, said: “Managing the budget is one of the most important roles we have as councillors. Where the money goes impacts on everyone in the city. We are determined to make sure we use our resources to reinvest in and protect key services for the good of all in the city.

“The sad truth is that finances for local authorities have been dramatically cut over many years and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the services we all need. We’re keen to hear about what’s important to residents and we will listen to people’s views.

“We’re also committed to delivering on our election pledges. We are focusing on four key areas. These are tackling the housing crisis and rough sleeping, community wealth building to ensure we all share in the wealth created in our city, making Brighton & Hove carbon neutral by 2030, and strengthening our status as a City of Sanctuary.”

The council provides more than 700 services residents of the city see or use every day, paid for by the annual council budget. It takes just over £2million to run our services every day for the city’s population of almost 300,000 people and the costs are rising.

The government will announce the funding for local authorities for the next financial year in the winter Provisional Local Government Financial Settlement. The outcome of the settlement will be taken into account during the local budget setting process. It could alter the amount of funds available from what is currently anticipated. No announcement is due before the General Election so the level of funding from central government is unknown at this stage of planning.   

The General Election has also had an impact on our longer term budget strategy. The focus for the Budget Council in February will be on the year ahead, rather than later years of the four year medium term financial strategy. The longer term planning will follow after a spending review which will cover 2021 to 2024.

Budget council in February will also set council tax for the city for the year ahead. Council Tax currently provides less than £1 in every £5 of what we spend on running services in our city.

Find out more about where council funding comes from and how the money is spent:

Find out more about the next Policy & Resources Committee