Business plans

Give your views on likely spending decisions

We are gathering residents’ views on the future direction of spending as the authority develops plans to set its budget for next year, its key priorities for the years afterward – and would like to understand views on any changes to council tax. Your views will help Members better understand what is important to you and what they should consider when setting the council’s budget in February.

Understanding the council's current budget

The chart below shows the council’s gross budget and the percentages spent on the major areas which we are responsible for.

It is from the net amount of approximately £450m - which is what we have available for our day to day spending - that we need to find savings.

Where the council's budget is spent - 2022/23. £937m Gross spend. Services for vulnerable adults - 31%, Services for vulnerable children and families - 10%, Education services - 15%, Grants to schools - 17%, Community services such as libraries, registration and coroner services - 2%, Place and economy services e.g. highway, infrastructure and waste, Corporate services e.g. service to keep the council operating including customer services, IT and digital, finance, Members and committees and property - 7%, Public Health - 3%. Levy paid to the Environment Agency and Combined Authority - 1%

Find out more about how and where the council's budget is spent on our budget overview page.

Why are we asking for your views?

Since the Council set its budget in February 2022, the national and international economic situation has significantly changed, and this has had a negative impact on Council finances in the same way it has affected most residents. The issues that we’re having to deal with include:

  • Rises in inflation to levels not seen for forty years, increasing the costs of our workforce and the supplies and services we buy.
  • A crisis in the supply of energy and goods.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives or incomes, causing major increases in the numbers needing extra help for the first time.

We have to deal with all of these challenges within a set level of funding. Most of our income, including our share of council tax or business rates, is fixed by the government. By law, we are not allowed to spend more money than we have and must set a balanced budget in February 2023.

The current financial gap between what we assumed we will need to do next year, and what it will cost us has almost doubled since the start of this financial year, from £17m to more than £28m. Despite inflation and other pressures affecting us we are unlikely to receive any additional government funding.

Delivering a balanced budget in the current economic context will not be easy. It is a challenge which isn’t only facing your household budget, but also councils up and down the country. Like you, the Council needs to use a range of approaches to balance the books, which could include reductions in some services.

We need to produce a budget which is sustainable so that we can deliver on our ambition to create a greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire.

We also want to continue to make changes to the way we work – improving the environment, bringing services closer to people, and helping residents and communities to recover from the effects of COVID-19. But we can only consider investments if we can first balance our budget.

We would like your views on which areas you would find the most acceptable for our Councillors to consider in balancing our budget

This online survey will close on Sunday 11 December after which its results will be added to the door to door survey and presented to Members for their meetings in January.

Have your say