Council Budget 2021 to 2022 consultation

Closed 8 Nov 2020

Opened 1 Oct 2020

Results updated 26 Mar 2021

In this consultation, residents and organisations gave their views on the services they feel the Council should be spend more or spend less, and whether they agree with the overall budget proposals. Respondents were also invited to make any general comments or suggestions.

There were 905  completed responses, which included 896 residents and 9 representatives of organisations.

30% of respondents agreed with our proposed annual budget allocation for 2021/22 with 35% of respondents disagreeing and 35% undecided.

The top 10 services where respondents felt spending should increase are:

  • road maintenance (61%)
  • waste management (44%)
  • pavement maintenance (44%)
  • community safety (33%)
  • protecting the environment (32%)
  • maintaining parks & open spaces (25%)
  • services and support for children and young people (20%)
  • street cleaning services (20%)
  • services and support for vulnerable adults and older people (20%)
  • educational services (20%).

This 'self-selecting' online public consultation was open to all residents and stakeholders. We promoted it using a variety of methods and channels including:

  • press releases
  • social media advertising and posts
  • Community Boards and  Town and Parish Council communications


Buckinghamshire Council logo

Each year the council must prepare a budget and as part of the process seeks the views of residents and businesses regarding priority areas for the year ahead.

This year has been exceptional. We have incurred significant additional costs and seen income in many areas reduced in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. We have lost income in a range of areas, including parking revenue, planning applications, council tax and business rates and rental from property we own.

We have incurred additional costs in providing extra support to our most vulnerable, the need to buy-in additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other one off costs linked to the pandemic.

We’ve had some support from government, but there is still a shortfall of some £7million in our budget, and given the rising infection rates locally and nationally, we expect the Council to be further impacted financially.”

The fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to affect the council and the delivery of its services for several years to come. The budget and budget priorities will reflect this.

Becoming a single unitary authority in April this year has enabled us to coordinate our response in a more focused manner - working through a single Cabinet and executive structure, leading to more effective results.

As a direct result of the merger of the former local councils into a single unitary council, we have also started to make savings. Though it is likely to take several years before the full benefit of the reorganisation is realised

In considering recovery from the pandemic, we will look to focus on the priority areas outlined in our Corporate Plan:

  • strengthening our communities
  • improving our environment
  • protecting the vulnerable
  • increasing prosperity

Although the plan was developed before the pandemic, these priorities remain even more relevant today.

In preparing the budget, we also need to be aware of our statutory responsibilities: the services that we must continue to fund, such as Adult Social Care and Children's Social Care. We also need to consider more limited areas of discretionary spend that improve the quality of life for all Buckinghamshire residents.

We are committed to making savings where we can – this will include a vacancy freeze and reducing the use of agency staff; making efficiencies wherever we can. We will also continue to press government for full cost recovery and the ability to freely use ring fenced funds.

But there are many uncertainties:

  • will there be a second wave and a lockdown – that could impact on residents and businesses?
  • will the government cut public spending – and support for local councils?
  • will there be continued reduced income from services such as parking and property rental?
  • what will happen if providers of essential services such as care homes fail?
  • will we see inflation pressures as the cost of goods and services increase?

All these factors make preparing the budget for 2021 to 2022 extremely challenging.

In considering your response to the budget consultation survey take time to reflect on the wider needs of the whole of Buckinghamshire in addition to the specific priorities for yourself, your family, your immediate community, your business, or your organisation

Budget allocation

All Councils have a legal duty to limit their spending to the income they receive each year. So, our budget must balance. The vast majority of our budget each year needs to be spent on the services we are required by law to provide such as social care for adults and children.

Below is a summary of the current spending breakdown for the year 2020 to 2021. We are proposing to allocate the 2021 to 2022 budget in the same way.

Your browser does not support inline PDF viewing.Please download the PDF.

  • Adults Social Care £147,926,313
  • Children's Social Care (including early help services)£78,801,385
  • Roads & Transport (including Rights of Way) £29,572,181
  • Education (excluding the Dedicated Schools Grant income of £472 million) £24,580,619
  • Waste & Recycling £22,712,918
  • ICT (Information Communication Technology) £11,873,014
  • Other corporate services £11,805,275
  • Finance £10,169,839
  • Human Resources £4,431,949
  • Housing £3,898,672
  • Improving Town Centres £2,838,287
  • Street Cleaning £1,432,647
  • Housing Benefits £848,743
  • Open/Green Spaces (Including country parks, maintained open spaces/play areas) £677,288

Give us your views

Please let us know what you think by completing our short online survey below. To request a printed version of the survey, please contact us on the email address above.


The information you provide here will only be used for the purposes of this project, and will be stored securely in line with data protection laws. No personal information will be shared or published.

What happens next

We will review all the feedback we receive to this consultation and use the findings to help us develop the draft budget further.

The draft will then go through our financial process, including Scrutiny Committee, and there will be a final opportunity to comment on it early in 2021, before a final decision is made.


  • Amersham
  • Aylesbury
  • Beaconsfield and Chepping Wye
  • Beeches
  • Buckingham and Villages
  • Chesham and Villages
  • Denham, Gerrards Cross and Chalfonts
  • Haddenham and Waddesdon
  • High Wycombe
  • Missendens
  • North West Chilterns
  • South West Chilterns
  • Wendover
  • Wexham and Ivers
  • Wing and Ivinghoe
  • Winslow and Villages


  • Finances