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Cardiff Council

Council Budget

​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Council’s Budget comprises two main areas - Revenue and Capital. Revenue Expenditure refers to spend on day-to day services like:

  • running schools,
  • caring for vulnerable people,
  • collecting waste,
  • maintaining parks and
  • operating libraries.

​ The Revenue Budget sets out how much will be spent in these areas in a particular financial year, and how this will be funded.

​Capital Expenditure has a longer-term focus than revenue expenditure. It refers to acquiring or improving assets, for example building a new school or resurfacing the highway.

The Capital Programme sets out capital expenditure plans and how they will be paid for over a five-year period. It is an investment programme that supports the Council’s priorities and helps meet the long-term challenges facing the city. ​

Setting the Revenue Budget for 2024 to 2025​ has been extremely challenging. It is estimated that due to demand pressure and inflation it will cost the Council over £57 million more to deliver services in 2024 to 2025.

The Council’s 4.3% funding increase from Welsh Government, covers less than half of this increase in costs, leaving a £30.3 million gap that has had to be addressed.

As in previous years, in setting the budget, most of the gap has been addressed through savings and corporate measures (£19.9m).

The remainder has been met through a 6.0% Council Tax increase which generates net additional income of £10.4m. The increase will enable some of the Council’s key services to be protected. Those eligible, will receive support through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme​.​
The Council has continued to prioritise efficiency savings – in other words savings which deliver the same (or more) for less resource with no impact on the resident / customer. Directorate efficiency savings totalling £10.5 million form part of the 2024/25 Budget, and these are accompanied by a further £5.3 million corporate savings and measures. However, the scale of the budget gap has meant that £4.1 million savings that impact on services have also been required (service change proposals).

The service change proposals included in the budget are consistent with the findings of the Council’s citywide budget consultation which generated over 9,000 responses. They include increases to the price paid for some chargeable services ​including pitch fees, parking, and bereavement services. There are changes to the operating hours of some services including Cardiff Museum, the cemetery service, and Hubs. It has also been necessary to reduce budgets that support events, parks, and Local Action Teams. ​
Within the available funding envelope, the Budget continues to provide support for the Stronger, Fairer, Greener priorities for the city and takes account of consultation feedback, which identified citizen’s top three funding priorities as:

  1. Schools,
  2. Vulnerable Children and Families, and
  3. Vulnerable Adults and Older People.

Investment in these areas features prominently in both the Revenue Budget and Capital Programme.

​The Council’s 2024 to 2025 Revenue Budget includes £12.8 million (+4.3%) additional funding for Schools. This level of increase is consistent with the Council’s own increase in general grant from Welsh Government. It includes net additional funding of £26.3 million (+11.1%) for Social Services to support vulnerable children and adults, and a net additional budget of £4.1 million (8.6%) for Central Education Services. Recycling and Neighbourhood Services, which citizens identified as their highest priority after schools and social care, is one of very few services that will not see a net budget reduction in 2024 to 2025.
The Council’s Capital Strategy for 2024 to 2025 – 2028 to 2029 reaffirms its commitment to significant investment in the city’s future. This includes investment in affordable housing (£716 million) and in new and existing school buildings (£275 million).

The programme invests in improved transport infrastructure, active travel, improving air quality, tackling coastal erosion and economic development initiatives such as the new Arena which is primarily funded through developer contributions.
The Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan​ highlights that over the four years following 2024 to 2025, the Council will face a further budget gap of £142 million, due to financial pressures outstripping anticipated funding, with £44 million needing to be addressed in 2025 to 2026.

In working to address this gap, the Council will continue to seek improvements in the way it delivers services and, through ongoing engagement with citizens, communities and other stakeholders, will carefully consider its priorities for future service delivery. ​
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Budget archive

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