Budget Consultation 2020-21

Page 1 of 6

Closes 15 Dec 2019

Background Information

Finance and spending breakdowns

Where we get our money from

The money we spend comes from many sources: council tax, business rates, government grants and income from fee, charges and commercial activity.  Each year we set a budget describing how much we are able to spend on services for Essex residents and businesses for the next financial year.

The chart and table below shows where the money we spend came from in 2019-20.

Funding for services £m %
Council tax (Council Tax Requirement & Collection fund surplus) 680 27%
Business rates  180.50 7%
Government grants (revenue support grant, specific & general grants) 1327.9 53.90%
Fees and Charges 135 5.40%
Other income  140.60 5.70%


How we spend our money

Essex County Council spends a budget of approximately £2,6bn a year (including £886m which gets passed straight onto Schools from central government). The chart and table below shows where we spent our budget in 2019-20.

Expenditure on services £m £0
Education and skills 1244 1,244,386
Adult social care 596 596,000
Children and families 142 142,444
Environment and waste 88 87,470
Public Health 67 66,566
Infrastructure 61 61,422
Other 266 265,768
  2,397.5 2,464,054


As well as spending on day-to-day services, Essex County Council makes substantial investments to help meet future needs - transforming service delivery, developing and maintaining the county’s infrastructure and improving the quality of life for residents. Our 2019-20 Capital Programme includes £249m of investment.  This can be analysed as follows:

  • Invest to Maintain (£83m).  This includes areas where the Council is maintaining (but extending the life of) its current assets, for example, highways and the flood programme;
  • Invest to Save / Generate Returns (£22m).  This includes areas where the Council is investing to generate a return or saving, for example, by developing accommodation for older people with disabilities, or rolling out LED lighting; and
  • Invest to Grow (£144m).  This includes areas where the Council is supporting the development of new highways infrastructure to support economic growth; creating new school places to meet the needs of our growing population; investing in new housing developments or investing in facilities colleges facilities to improve skills provision.

What is Essex County Council Responsible for?

If you live in Essex you’re likely to receive some of the services we provide, as well as services provided by the local council, known as a district, borough or city council.

This means you’re represented by a mixture of county councillors and local councillors.