England & Wales

Highlights from the Local Government Financial Statistics bulletin


This information was correct as of 2009 – if you want the latest information on local government, check out our facts and figures page.

The Department for Communities and Local Government today posts some interesting facts and figures in: Local Government Financial Statistics England No.19 2009.   Highlights, for those few people out there as strange as me to actually find this interesting and useful, stick with the list to the end….

• In England, local authorities’ total expenditure was £154 billion in 2007-08.
• In 2007-08 local authorities employed about 1.8 million full-time employees (FTE) staff and 50 per cent of service expenditure (gross of income) was spent on these employees.
• About three-fifths of local authorities’ gross income in 2007-08 came from central government. About a fifth of this central government contribution came from re-distributed non-domestic rates. Other income included council tax, sales, fees & charges, council rents and capital receipts.
• The largest share of net current expenditure in 2007-08 was on education services with 37 per cent of the total. Social services accounted for a further 17 per cent, housing (excluding Housing Revenue Account) 15 per cent and police 11 per cent.
• Average Band D council tax, for a two adult household, in 2008-09 was £1,373.
• In the North East, 56 per cent of dwellings are in the lowest council tax band – Band A, compared to just 3 per cent in London.
• Average in year council tax collection rates have been slowly increasing, and reached 97.1 per cent nationally in 2007-08.
• The average in year council tax collection rate in Inner London Boroughs has risen by 18.7 percentage points in the period 1993-94 to 2007-08.
• Revenue expenditure has more than doubled in cash terms between 1993-94 and 2007-08. The corresponding increase in real terms was 57.6 per cent.
• About 25 per cent of revenue expenditure is funded through council tax.
• Most shire counties spend £500m or more a year, while all shire districts spend less than £40m a year.
• Of the £61.9bn spent on pay in 2007-08, £20.1bn was used to pay teachers.
• Local authority capital expenditure has risen from £12.3 billion in 2003-04, to £20.0 billion in 2007-08, excluding the one-off payment of £1.7 billion made to Metronet by Greater London Authority (Transport of London).
• In 2007-08 capital expenditure of almost £3.2 billion was financed by unsupported borrowing, under the new prudential system in place since April 2004 (16 per cent of the total).
• About 56 per cent of all local authorities used the powers of self-financed borrowing to finance capital expenditure in 2007-08. However, use varied considerably between 99 per cent of metropolitan districts and 39 per cent of shire districts.
• The value of local authority fixed assets is estimated at £255 billion on 31 March 2008.
• Local authorities’ total outstanding debt at 31 March 2008 was £52.4 billion, the largest proportion of which is owed to the Public Works Loan Board (77 per cent).
• Local authorities’ investments at 31 March 2008 were £29.5 billion; about three quarters of these investments were deposits with banks or building societies.
• The Local Government Pension Scheme currently had around 3.8 million members at the end of March 2008 and had a fund value of £120 billion.