Spending plans 2023-24

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 2023 as funding from central government has gone down sharply. As a result, council tax is an increasingly important way to finance local government. This is reflected in the central government decision to allow district councils to increase council tax by £5 per year or up to 2.99 per cent, whichever is higher. Locally, Cheltenham council's 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.

The average council tax you will pay for services provided by the Cheltenham Borough Council is £230.78 for a band D taxpayer. This is an increase of £6.70 or 2.99 per cent from last year, or 12.8 pence per week.

Service delivery

Our council aims to maintain the delivery and high standard of our services to residents, protecting front-line services within the reduced funding available.

Throughout the financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis, we have continued to show our commitment to make Cheltenham a place where everyone can thrive. We have invested in a number of activities over the last year to drive sustainable growth and investment in the town:

  • An investment of £87k into the upgrade of the public space around Clarence Fountain to improve facilities, seating and planting
  • A £3.3m investment in retail units on the High Street for development and regeneration
  • An additional £2.5m investment into the Minster Exchange (MX) to complete the build of a cyber-innovation hub and cultural venue by the Cheltenham Minister
  • A contribution of £250k to the refurbishment of the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum which has now re-opened with new galleries and a cafe facilities
  • The re-design of the Minster Gardens to connect the high street to the MX and Wilson Art Gallery

This has come at the same time that our council has experienced the same financial pressures as you may have at home, from rising energy prices and interest rates to double-digit inflation on many of our contract costs.

In February 2023, we approved our new corporate plan for 2023-27 which provides a re-commitment to our key priorities. From investment in the Golden Valley Development to make Cheltenham the cyber capital of the UK to supporting our most vulnerable communities through our No Child Left Behind initiatives, our council will continue our focus on delivery, despite the ongoing financial turbulence.  

The plans set out in the 2023/24 budget, including the reserves and savings strategies, are key to ensuring our council continues to be financially resilient through the medium term as government delays continues around changes to local authority funding.

Working together to plan for Cheltenham’s future

A formal budget consultation took place during December 2022 and January 2023. Interested parties including businesses, tenants, residents, staff and trade unions were encouraged to comment on the budget proposals. The council’s response to these submissions was published as part of the final budget papers in February 2023.

Spending plans for 2023-24

Council spending plans for 2023-24



Amount in £


Amount in £

Chief executive



Place and communities



Finance, assets and regeneration




Financing and investment income and expenditure

- 2,344,000


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 2022-23


Increased cost of services








Projected net spending in 2023-24


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.