Spending plans 2022-23

The level of council tax

Council tax is the main source of locally-raised income for Cheltenham and is used to meet the difference between the amount we propose to spend and the amount we receive from other sources such as business rates and government grants.

The proportion of our funding raised from council tax has significantly increased in the decade to 2022 as funding from central government has deteriorated sharply. As a result, council tax is considered an increasingly important mode of local government financing. This is reflected in the government decision to allow district councils to increase council tax by £5 per year or up to 1.99 per cent, whichever is higher. Locally the Cabinet has had to consider the levels of expected growth in Cheltenham and the financial sustainability of any increase in council tax for our residents.

In the exceptionally difficult national situation caused by the impact of Covid-19, the Cabinet’s overriding financial strategy has been, and is, to drive down the council’s net costs via a commercial mind-set. Our aim is to hold down council tax as far as possible, now and in the longer term, while also protecting frontline services from cuts – an immensely challenging task in the present climate.

The average council tax you will pay for services provided by the Cheltenham Borough Council is £224.08 for a Band D taxpayer. This is an increase of £5 or 2.28 per cent over last year, or ten pence a week.

Service delivery

We aim to maintain the delivery and high standard of our services to residents, protecting front line services within the reduced funding available. Our budget projections reflect a funding gap for the period 2023/24 to 2025/26 of £3.575m. We will continue to review alternative methods of delivering services with some services being provided through partnership and shared working arrangements, reducing costs and creating efficiencies of service. We will also continue to review our internal services, to ensure they are delivered efficiently and seek to rationalise costs where possible.

We have continued to contribute to and use the Budget Strategy (Support) Reserve to support the delivery of a balanced budget over the last four years. Over the period 2022/23 to 2025/26 we plan to use £825k from this reserve to balance the budget. This remains a transitional arrangement to give the Council time to deliver its strategy for delivering planned savings and support investment which is aligned to our Corporate Priorities. Full details of the savings and investments are contained within the 2022/23 budget setting papers dated 21 February 2022, available on the council’s website.

Part of our drive towards financial sustainability includes identifying new opportunities to generate income and investment in projects which provide good financial returns. Our commercial strategy aligns closely with other key strategies including place-making, economic growth, digital transformation, workforce and skills development, investment and asset management which have a combined message that Cheltenham Borough Council continues to invest in the growth and sustainability of our town. We work with partners who share our ambition and values and will continue to put the best interests of Cheltenham residents at the heart of everything we do.

Working together to plan for Cheltenham’s future

A formal budget consultation took place during December 2021 and January 2022. Interested parties including businesses, tenants, residents, staff and trade unions were encouraged to comment on the budget proposals.

Spending plans for 2022-23

Council spending plans for 2022-23



Amount in £


Amount in £

Chief Executive



Finance and Assets Directorate



People and Change Directorate



Place and Growth Directorate




Financing and investment income and expenditure

- 2,404,000


Capital charges



Use of balances and reserves









Transfer to/from general balances



Net spending




Financed by:



Government grants



Business rates



Collection fund




Which leaves the remaining council tax requirement of:



How our budget compares with last year

Budget comparison


Amount (£)

Projected net spending in 2020-21


Increased cost of services






Other income




Projected net spending in 2021-22


For further information on the budget including a full list of improved services and savings please contact financial services on 01242 775033. A full breakdown of the budget is available on our budgets and spending pages.