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Annual report 2020/21

Our budget and your Council Tax

These pages offer information about our budget for the financial year 2020/21, and how we spend taxpayers’ money.

Our budget is used to provide over 100 services across the town, some of which are seen daily such as waste collections, and others which often go unseen. 80% of our budget will be used to support vulnerable adults and children in Swindon.

When you pay your council tax, you are funding services which support those who need it most including the elderly, people with disabilities and children without families.

For example, in 2019, your council tax helped to provide:

  • daily help for 988 older people to live independently at home
  • foster families for 322 children, who have either lost or can no longer live with their parents
  • support and transport to school throughout the year for 815 children with additional needs
  • help to enable 1,601 people to return home from hospital

Without these vital safeguarding services, which we are required to provide by law, many adults and children would not be able to live their lives independently in a supportive environment.

We also play a key role in attracting investment to the town, without which, major improvements could not happen in Swindon.

Find out how your money is used to help support the town in this year’s council tax booklet.

If you pay by Direct Debit and would like to make the switch to paperless, email your council tax account number, preferred email address and surname to:

Our budget - where our money comes from

What we call our "budget" is the amount of money we need to spend in a financial year. This runs from 1 April to 31 March the following year. We currently receive our money from:

  • Council Tax
  • business rates
  • central government (Revenue Support Grant)
  • fees, charges and other sources

Council Tax

Amount raised: £108.8m
Percentage of total: 21%

This comes from householders in the borough of Swindon who are eligible to pay Council Tax. The amount you are charged depends on the location and value of the property.

Business rates

Amount raised: £36m
Percentage of total: 7%

Business rates are like Council Tax, but for businesses instead of residents. Businesses in the borough pay the tax based on the size and value of their business property. They also vary depending on the type of business.

Business rates are collected by councils and then shared between central government, the fire authority and the council. In Swindon, we retain 32% of the total amount we collect. The government has indicated they want to change this in the future and let councils keep more of the business rates they collect.

Central government (Revenue Support Grant)

Amount raised: £4.3m
Percentage of total: 1%

The Government published a single year settlement for 2020/21 pending completion of the work on reforming Local Government finance, which is due to be completed for 2021/22.

The Revenue Support Grant we receive from the Government remained at £4m, the same level as 2019/20.

Fees, charges and other sources

Amount raised: £358.7m
Percentage of total: 71%

We raise income through some services and other sources.

These include:

  • car parking
  • planning applications
  • fines
  • client contributions for care packages
  • grants and contributions for specific projects and services including education, public health and social care

Some income raised contributes to the cost involved in providing the service that generated the income. For example, the money generated from bus lane fines is used for maintaining roads. Some income goes into our general fund to pay for all services.

See: What we need to spend - Income and expenditure by service area

Archived Council Tax expenditure

To view annual report and Council Tax documents from previous years, visit our directory record:

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