Budget agreed for 2020/21

Top facts

  • The Brighton & Hove City Council budget for 2020/21 has been set
  • Councillors decided how to allocate more than £900 million 
  • The budget includes an increase of the council’s element of council tax of 3.99 per cent
  • This is a council tax increase of 1.99% plus an adult social care precept (funding only to be used for adult social care) of 2%
  • Council Tax currently provides less than £1 in every £5 of what we spend on running services in our city
  • On budget night, a new all party amendment was passed to secure a total of up to £13.4m towards the restoration of Madeira Terraces


The Brighton & Hove City Council budget for 2020/21 has been set at Budget Council today (Thursday 27 February).

The budget proposals have been developed to support Council’s Corporate Plan 2020 to 2023. The plan brings together the agreed commitments and priorities for the council. This year’s budget sets out how the promises in the plan will be funded for 2020/21. 

The focus was on the year ahead, rather than later years of the four year medium term financial strategy. The longer term planning will follow after a government spending review which we expect to cover 2021 to 2024. 

The council provides more than 700 services residents see or use every day. It currently costs just over £2.1 million to run our council services every day.

Budget Proposals for 2020/21 include:

  • More than £14m of new investments to support priority services in the corporate plan
  • Key services are proposed to receive:
    • Adult Social Care including Learning Disability Services: A total of £104.4million 
    • Children’s Social Care: A total of £62million 
    • Homelessness and rough sleeping services: For the year ahead £30.9million is proposed for these services. This includes £50,000 for weekend winter shelter provision for rough sleepers and £300,000 for enhanced support and facilities for around 100 short term and emergency temporary accommodation properties.
    • Almost £5m has been allocated to develop plans to be Carbon Neutral by 2030, this is a combination of revenue and capital spending
    • Protecting the city’s culture with a total of up to £13.4m to start renovation at Madeira Terrace arches

Cllr Nancy Platts, leader of the council, proposed the budget. Cllr Platts said: “This budget aims to protect vital services across the city. Our council daily spend helps all our residents all year round. We deliver more than 700 services from public health, to refuse collection disposal and recycling; children’s and adult social care to museums and tourism; and so much more.

"We are also investing in the future. We are committed to tackling rough sleeping and building more affordable housing, including 800 additional council homes; making our city carbon neutral by 2030; building community wealth and a circular, ethical local economy; and strengthening our status as a City of Sanctuary.

“This is no easy task. The ongoing climate of austerity has placed a burden on local authorities by pushing up demand for vital services while also slashing the resources and funds we need to deliver services. 

“Over the past 10 years, local authorities have faced a reduction to core funding from government of nearly £16 billion. That means 60p out of every £1 has been cut.

“Despite the challenges, this budget is a competent, creative and balanced budget that protects and invests in our city. It is designed to support our Council Plan, which is a bold vision for a fairer city and a sustainable future. Already we’re making positive strides in delivering on our promises to residents.”

Council tax

The budget included an increase of council tax of 3.99%. This is a council tax increase of 1.99% plus an adult social care precept (funding only to be used for adult social care) of 2%. 

This means the average Band D Council Tax contribution to the council will rise by £63.66 to £1,659.11 in 2020/21.

Note: We only set our share of the council tax. The full amount for the average Band D Council tax for 2020/21 will be £1,954.55 (a rise of £75.52 from the year before). This includes £199.91 for the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner and £ 95.53 for the East Sussex Fire Authority.

Council Tax 2020/21

Band D
Council Tax
on 2019/20
Brighton & Hove City Council £1,659.11 £63.66 3.99%
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner £199.91 £10.00 5.27%
East Sussex Fire Authority £95.53 £1.86 1.99%
Total for Brighton & Hove residents £1,954.55 £75.52 4.02%


While there is much debate about amendments to the main budget, the proposed permanent budget amendments combined amounted to about 0.3% of the Gross General Fund budget (£1.98m out of a total £775.6m).

On the night, the Labour and Green amendments were approved and only one of the Conservative amendments was approved. An adjournment was called for and a cross party amendment was produced to secure up to £13.4million in total for the future of Madeira Terraces. This passed with support from all parties. 

Speaking on the amendment to allocate more funding for Madeira Terraces restoration, Cllr Daniel Yates, lead councillor for finance, said: “This is a win for common sense, for residents and for future generations.” 

The budget as amended was then put to the vote and passed. 

Additional information

  • The council’s gross revenue budget, which covers council services, is more than £775million
  • The capital programme budget of more than £160million includes investment in housing, regeneration, schools and highways and transport