Money Matters: Have your say on Buckinghamshire Council's spending priorities for 2024 to 2025

Closed 15 Oct 2023

Opened 31 Aug 2023

Feedback updated 6 Mar 2024

We asked

Each year we must prepare a budget. All councils have a legal duty to limit their spending to the income they receive each year - our budget must balance. 

Most of our annual budget needs to be spent on the services we are required by law to provide, such as social care for adults and children. 

We consulted on the proposed budget allocation and service priorities from 31 August to 15 October 2023.

You said

We received 1,493 responses to the consultation: 

  • 1,486 from residents 
  • 7 from organisations 

3 responses were received by email, these respondents did not complete the survey so were considered for verbatim only. 

Views on proposed allocation of annual budget for 2024 to 2025: 

  • 29% of respondents agreed with the proposed allocation of Buckinghamshire Council’s annual budget for 2024 to 2025 
  • 39% of respondents disagreed with the proposal 
  • 32% of respondents neither agreed nor disagreed with the proposal 

The top 10 services where respondents felt we should prioritise funding: 

  1. Care and support for older people and vulnerable adults (60%) 
  2. Road maintenance (51%) 
  3. Educational services (40%) 
  4. Community safety (37%) 
  5. Maintaining parks, open spaces, playing fields and the countryside (32%) 
  6. Protecting the environment (30%) 
  7. Housing (27%) 
  8. Pavement maintenance (27%) 
  9. Services and support for children and young people (26%) 
  10. Public transport (24%) 

The top 10 services where respondents felt we should not prioritise funding: 

  1. Public Health services (50%) 
  2. Culture and tourism (48%) 
  3. Car parking (41%) 
  4. Library services (35%) 
  5. Services to attract and support local businesses (33%) 
  6. Town centre regeneration (30%) 
  7. Planning services (27%) 
  8. Sport and leisure services (26%) 
  9. Housing (18%) 
  10. Road infrastructure and planning (17%) 

171 residents also provided feedback on their priority areas for spend at Bucks County Show on 31 August 2024.  

The Buckinghamshire Youth Voice Executive Committee shared their views on priority areas for spend by sending a letter to the Leader, the Section 151 Officer and the Corporate Director for Children’s Services.  

More information about the budget consultation results (PDF 1.0MB) 

We did

The consultation results were reviewed by Cabinet, alongside the final budget report, at its meeting on 4 January 2024

During the week of 8 January 2024, the Budget Scrutiny Select Committee Inquiry reviewed and challenged the budget proposals. 

They made recommendations on potential change to the budget which were presented to Cabinet on 13 February 2024. 

At its meeting on 21 February 2024, Buckinghamshire Council approved the proposed budget allocation for 2024 to 2025.  

Details of all the proposed budget changes (PDF 0.24MB). 


Buckinghamshire Council logo

We want to know which services you think should be the main priorities in our budget for next year, and what you think about our plans for how next year's budget should be spent.

In recent years, financial pressures have had a huge impact on families, businesses and organisations.

Councils can’t escape these impacts and are facing sharply rising costs at the same time as more and more people are finding themselves in need of support.

Continuing to provide our main services such as waste collection, planning and road maintenance whilst also supporting our local children and adults in need is challenging.

To ensure we can continue to help the most vulnerable, we are having to make difficult decisions around money and how we provide our services going forward.

Countrywide, councils are facing huge financial challenges. You may have seen in the news that a number of councils have stated that they cannot meet their costs.

In comparison, we remain in a relatively stable position. This is in large part because, since becoming a unitary in 2020, we have worked hard to become ever more efficient and reduce running costs.

So far, we have delivered £45m additional savings and income, with a further £43.9m of savings and income proposed by the end of 2025. That’s a total £89m of savings and income over our first five years as a council – equivalent to 18% of our net budget for 2023 to 2024.

However, we are also experiencing the impact of rising costs and rising demand and need to take difficult decisions as we plan for the future in order to be sure that we continue to remain financially balanced.

Now we are looking for your feedback.

We are working up plans for the council’s 2024 to 2025 budget and we need you to tell us how you think we should be spending your money.

In considering your response, please do 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.

How the council is funded

We provide more than 700 different services in total and our budget sets out how much we will need to spend on these services and where that money will come from.

The money we receive from council tax covers 81% of the cost of providing all of these services – from paying for care packages for adults who need it, to providing emergency accommodation for homeless people and vulnerable children, as well as the essential services everyone relies on like bin collections, road repairs and keeping streets and open spaces clean and safe.

The other 19% of the council's budget is funded by money from Business Rates (13%), the New Homes Bonus (1%) and other un-ringfenced grants (5%).

It’s also important to note that the funding for the running of our schools is not set or controlled by the council. We distribute this to schools on behalf of government as part of the Dedicated Schools Grant.

How your money is spent

All councils have a legal duty to limit their spending to the income they receive each year. In other words, our budget must balance.

Most 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. This is known as ‘statutory’ spend.

The spending breakdown for the year 2023 to 2024 (net) is:

  • Adult Social Care – £184,669,000
  • Children's Social Care – £87,892,000
  • Roads and Transportation – £61,785,000
  • Costs of running the council – £52,094,000
  • Education (excluding Dedicated Schools Grant) – £15,075,000
  • Waste and Recycling – £12,887,000
  • Customer Services – £11,337,000
  • Housing and Homelessness – £6,651,000
  • Planning – £6,096,000
  • Culture and Leisure – £4,623,000
  • Regulatory Services – £3,148,000
  • Street Cleaning – £2,689,000
  • Community Boards – £2,669,000
  • Strategic Infrastructure, Town Centre Regeneration and Economic Growth – £2,593,000
  • Community Safety – £1,974,000
  • Environment – £1,386,000

This adds up to a total net spend of £457,571,000 for 2023 to 2024 (total takes account of rounding).

Net spend is expenditure minus the income we receive from customers and ringfenced grants.

We are proposing to allocate the 2024 to 2025 budget in a similar way.

More information on the service areas

Adult Social Care:

  • Care and support services for older people and vulnerable adults which includes support for people:
    • living at home
    • living in care
    • coming out of hospital
    • with disabilities
  • Mental health services

Children’s Social Care:

  • Improving outcomes and actively promoting the life chances of children in care and care leavers
  • Safeguarding and encouraging the welfare of children, including protection against child sexual exploitation
  • Support for children with disabilities
  • Fostering and adoption services
  • Helping young people stay away from crime and avoid re-offending

Roads and transportation:

  • Road maintenance including inspections, pothole and road repair, and emergency response
  • Client, public and home to school transport
  • Transport strategy, including our ambitions, policies and plans for future investment in local transport
  • Keeping roads safe and improving the flow of traffic
  • Rights of way, including footpaths

Costs of running the council:

  • ‘Helping Hand’- our scheme for helping people struggling with the cost of living pressures
  • Council Tax collection and Housing Benefit payments
  • Legal and Democratic services, including elections
  • Risk, Audit and Insurance services
  • Information Communication Technology
  • Finance
  • Human Resources and Organisational Development

Education (excluding the schools’ Dedicated Schools Grant):

  • School admissions, school improvement and school place planning
  • Support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities
  • Support for pupils not in education, employment or training
  • Early help for children and young people
  • Adult learning and skills

Waste and recycling:

  • Collection and disposal of waste
  • Household waste recycling centres
  • Converting non-recyclable waste into electricity (Energy from waste)

Customer services:

  • Customer Contact Centre
  • Face to face information, advice and support to residents at Council Access Points
  • Digital and web services


  • Advice services and management of the planning application process
  • Investigating alleged breaches and taking enforcement action where appropriate
  • Building control
  • Development management, including highways
  • Strategic and local planning policy, including local development plans and neighbourhood planning

Culture and leisure:

  • Country parks, parks and play areas
  • Leisure centres
  • Libraries
  • Arts and culture
  • Museums and heritage

Regulatory services:

  • Cemeteries and crematoria
  • Environmental health
  • Trading standards
  • Coroners
  • Licensing
  • Registrars and celebratory services

Economic growth, regeneration and strategic infrastructure:

  • Highways infrastructure projects
  • Town centre regeneration
  • Supporting the local economy through jobs, skills, homes and amenities

Housing and homelessness:

  • Advice when looking for a home
  • Help if you’re homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • Housing grants, loans and debt advice

Community Boards:

  • Local partnerships between the council, community groups, organisations and local people to identify key local issues and take action to address them

Street cleaning:

  • Street cleansing
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Dog control

Community safety:

  • Crime, anti-social behaviour and drug or alcohol abuse
  • Domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking or harassment
  • Extremism and terrorism
  • Modern slavery and child exploitation


  • Protecting and improving the environment
  • Tackling the challenges presented by climate change
  • Energy and water management
  • Flood management

Public Health services are funded by specific grants. This includes services such as support for stopping smoking, alcohol and drugs, eating healthily, ageing well and being more active.

How to have your say

You can tell us your views in one of the following ways:

If you have any questions about this activity, please email us at

Please tell us your views by midnight on Sunday 15 October 2023.

What happens next

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

A detailed draft budget will be published in late 2023 for further feedback and scrutiny. It will then be finalised and agreed in February 2024.


We will use the information you provide here only for this activity. We will store the information securely in line with data protection laws and will not share or publish any personal details. For more information about data and privacy, please see our Privacy Policy.

If you have questions about data and privacy, please email us on Or write to our Data Protection Officer at Buckinghamshire Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF.


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