2023-2024 budget

The budget proposals for 2023-24 were approved by Cabinet Members and Full Council on Thursday 23 February 2023.

You can view the full budget details in our Full Council 2023-2024 budget papers and in our guide to the budget and Council Tax 2023-2024.

Introduction to this year's budget

More information about the budget

Where does the council’s money come from?

Each year we set a budget for the coming financial year (April to March). The budget sets out how we’ll spend our money to provide a range of services. We target our spend to meet the needs of our residents. This includes schools, social care, planning, public health, bin collections and road maintenance.

We call this the 'revenue budget'. It’s used to pay for the day to day running costs of delivering our services. This includes staffing, maintaining public buildings and general service running costs.

The gross revenue budget available to spend on services for 2023-2024 is £586 million. This is funded from a combination of:

  • government grants
  • fees and charges (such as car parking or crematorium fees)
  • commercial rents (not housing rents as this is separate)
  • business rates and Council Tax

This is the amount of money available after contributions from our other income have been accounted for. Income such as council house rents, grant income received for specific purposes, client contributions and fees and charges.

Does the 2023-2024 budget balance?

Yes, the budget does balance. This is providing we:

  • deliver our efficiency plans
  • manage demand for services effectively
  • receive government funding as expected
  • remain flexible and vigilant

If we do this, we’re in a relatively stable financial position for 2023-2024.

However, there is a great deal of financial uncertainty over the next few years and beyond. We’re preparing as well as we can for this and the different scenarios we may face. We’ve updated our three year financial plan taking us up to 2025-2026. However, the position beyond 2023–2024 remains extremely uncertain given the current economic position and is constantly changing. Our forecasts are based on many assumptions. Its critical that we remain vigilant, flexible and be prepared for anything that may arise.

Beyond the next financial year, we’re currently estimating a £12.8 million shortfall. We're meeting this through using reserves and from budget savings. We don’t expect there to be any cuts in the services you receive next year. We also have a plan in place to balance future year budgets.

How will the proposed 2023-2024 budget be spent?

The budget is allocated to help us make Barnsley the place of possibilities. We want it to be a place that fosters and grows ambition across our communities. All decisions on how to spend and allocate the budget are made with our residents in mind. This makes sure the work we do makes a real difference to you and your family. It also drives us to be a modern, inclusive, efficient, productive and high performing council.

A summary list of investment proposals is provided below with a full list available in our 2023-2024 budget papers. You can also find out more in our guide to the budget and Council Tax 2023-2024.

In 2023-24, we will spend around £586 million providing you and your family with a range of services. This includes an additional £35 million we are investing in our day to day services. The budget is split between our key service areas which are vital to you and your family. It is invested in those areas where it is most needed or will have the biggest impact. You can find out more about how we will be investing on page six.

  • 28% Children’s Services £162 million
  • 19% Adult Social Care £112 million
  • 21% Growth and Sustainability £122 million
  • 6% Public Health and Communities £35 million
  • 7% Core Services £44 million
  • 19% Corporate £111 million

In addition, we spend £79 million on our council houses, which is mainly funded from housing rents.

Other specific investment, includes:

  • £17.5 million on our frontline services, particularly children’s and adult social care.
  • £77 million in new capital schemes to improve housing, schools, and roads. This includes an additional £2 million to address potholes and general maintenance to improve our roads and highways.
  • £10 million to create an activity park for young people and to establish a new home for the Barnsley Youth Choir.
  • Ongoing investment in the Principal Towns programme.

Where does money for the capital programme come from?

Capital funds are separate from our revenue budget and cannot be used to fund running costs. Capital funding can come from a number of sources, including:

  • capital receipts from selling off assets for example land
  • specific grants to pay for specific schemes or initiatives
  • borrowing, for example a loan
  • match funding/contribution from external parties
  • money set aside from reserves (underspends) from the revenue budget.

We’ll continue our drive to invest in the borough's future with a proposed £77 million of new capital investment. This is to be spent over the next three to five years. This will be done through the ongoing roll-out of our capital investment programme.

Does this proposed increase include fire and police services?

No, it doesn’t. The 3.9% increase is just for the part of the Council Tax bill that’s paid to us for the services we deliver. We don’t pay for the police and fire service out of our budget. They set their own Council Tax precept for the services they provide. This precept is paid over to the police and fire authorities respectively.

If you live in an area that has a parish council, you may also have to pay an additional amount. This figure is set by the parish council.

How will my Council Tax be spent?

The general Council Tax contribution helps meet the running costs of all the services we provide in the borough. This includes schools, social care, maintaining roads, waste collection and recycling, libraries and health protection.

The government precept contribution is ring-fenced specifically to support the rising costs of adult social care. This is to support elderly and vulnerable residents.

The Council Tax you pay each year is used to help deliver the services that you need.

You can view the full budget details in our 2023-2024 budget papers and guide to the budget and Council Tax 2023-2024.

Why do I have to pay for services I don’t use?

You may not feel it’s up to you to pay towards adult social care services. But you may also feel the same about other services that you don’t need or use.

Lots of the services we provide are used to benefit everyone. Without them the borough would grind to a halt. These are services such as bin collections, maintaining roads and public health. Some services are used by fewer residents depending on personal circumstances. Including services such as children’s social care, home support for the elderly and special educational needs.

If you’re proposing to increase Council Tax, why can’t you deliver more services instead of asking us to do more for ourselves?

The increase in Council Tax helps contribute to the significant increase in the cost of running council services. There are still a number of savings that need to be made. The increase in Council Tax will help protect and limit the cuts we need to make. Regardless of the increase in Council Tax, we still need to make over £20 million in savings. These need to be made over the next three years.

We’re working tirelessly to make our resources go further. We also want sustainable outcomes so we can be prepared for the further challenges we face. This is not only financially, but also in terms of the growing pressures and demands on our services. We’re trying to do more with less and focus on those areas with the biggest impact in the long run.  

How do you work out how much you pay your staff?

Our pay policy sets out the arrangements for salary and related allowances paid to employees. This is refreshed at the start of each financial year and will be updated once approved at Full Council.

It details how salary levels are determined, the method for pay progression and the payment of allowances.

You can also find details of the salaries and job titles of senior employees. This is for those whose salary is more than £50,000.