The council's budget for 2023/24 was approved by Council on Tuesday 21 February 2023.
You can find out on this page how the budget was approved, where the council's income comes from, what we will be doing in response to the public consultation and how we plan to be spending your money in the coming year.
The budget shows a Council Tax Requirement of £6,694,027, which is equivalent to £171.61 for a band D property, representing a £5.00 increase on the 2022/23 amount.
We are required by statute to set a balanced budget in advance of each financial year.
This will be achieved for 2023/24 by the use of £4.457 million of reserves. Whilst we have sufficient reserves to fund this deficit for at least the next 2 years, we will need identify ongoing savings and reduce this deficit in the medium term. This is dealt with in more detail within our Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023-2028 (PDF) [1MB]
How the budget was considered
The budget proposals were considered at 3 meetings where the proposals were formally approved.
- Review of budget proposals at Scrutiny Committee on 31 January 2023
- Finalisation of budget proposals at Cabinet on 9 February 2023
- Approval of final budget at Full Council on 21 February 2023
A budget consultation was undertaken between 21 September and 31 October 2022. We sought the views of residents, partners and those who work within the district as we began the process of setting the budget for the 2023/24 financial year. A total of 145 responses were received.
The consultation asked for views on the our corporate priorities, and the future resourcing of specific service areas. We also asked for feedback regarding whether our share of Council Tax represents value for money.
Corporate plan priorities
The percentage of respondents who 'somewhat agree' or 'definitely agree' that these priorities are the right ones for 2023/24:
- Putting residents first - 90%
- Active place-maker for our towns and villages - 76%
- Progressive custodian of our rural environment - 81%
- Champion for our district - 80%
Value for money
56% of respondents 'strongly agree' or 'tend to agree' that the council provides value for money.
27% 'strongly disagree' or 'tend to disagree' (with the remainder answering 'neither agree nor disagree' or 'don't know').
The services which ranked highest in terms of respondents classifying them as 'very important' or 'fairly important' were:
- refuse and recycling collection - 96%
- action to develop cleaner neighbourhoods and to tackle environmental crime such as fly tipping - 92%
- pollution control - 90%
Funding the budget
The budget lays out how much we plan to spend on each of our main services (net of fees and charges). We collect some of this money through Council Tax, but we have other sources of income from sources such as Localised Business Rates Retention (BRR), New Homes Bonus (NHB), Rural Services Delivery Grant (RSDG) and from investments.
- Commercial investments - 3%
- Business Rates - 23%
- Government funding - New Homes Bonus - 2%
- Government funding - other - 13%
- Funded from UDC reserves - 26%
- Council Tax - 31%
- Other Income - 2%
We (Uttlesford District Council) collect your Council Tax and put it into a separate fund called the collection fund. We share this fund with Essex County Council, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and the parish and town councils. These components of your Council Tax are called "precepts". In every pound (£) that we collect:
- 71p goes to Essex County Council
- 12p goes to the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner - Policing and community safety
- 8p goes to Uttlesford District Council
- 5p goes (on average) to town and parish councils
- 4p goes to the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner - Fire & Rescue Authority
More information on how the Council Tax bill was calculated for 2023/24.
We generate some income from the fees we charge for services.
Business Rates (NNDR)
Business rates (National Non-domestic Rates) are charged on most non-domestic properties, like shops, offices, pubs, warehouses, factories, holiday rental homes or guest houses.
This shows how much we (Uttlesford District Council) plan to spend on each of our main services and where we get our income.
General Fund Budget
Housing & Economic
Finance & Administration
Subtotal - Service
Net recharges to Housing
Other corporate items
Subtotal - Corporate items
Retained business rates
Subtotal - External
Subtotal - Net operating
Transfers to / (from)
Total - Council Tax
(Surplus) / deficit
Expenditure - how UDC spends its budget
Breakdown of our net expenditure:
- Communities and Partnerships - 6%
- Environmental Services - 26%
- Finance and Administration - 37%
- Housing and Economic Development - 11%
- Capital financing - 11%
- Other corporate costs - 4%
- Contributions to reserves - 5%
Further details are set out in the General Fund and Council Tax 2023/24 report (PDF) [997KB] to Council. In this, the budget summary provides details on the funding of each of the council's services.