England & Wales

Local Government facts and figures: highlights from CLG


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

Forget the football stats and cop a load of these highlights from some latest CLG facts and figures about local government

* In England, local authorities’ total expenditure was £160 billion in 2008-09.
* In 2008-09 local authorities employed 1.8 million full-time employees (FTE) staff and nearly 50 per cent of service expenditure (gross of income) was spent on these employees.
* About 60 per cent of local authorities’ gross income in 2008-09 came from central government (through grants or re-distributed non-domestic rates). Other income from local sources included council tax, sales, fees and charges, council rents and capital receipts.
* The largest share of net current expenditure in 2008-09 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 10 per cent.
* Average Band D council tax, for a two adult household, in 2008-09 was £1,414 an increase of 3 per cent on 2007-08.
* 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 in 2008-09 stood at 97 per cent compared with 92.6 per cent in 1993-94.
* The average in year council tax collection rate in Inner London Boroughs has risen from 76.0 per cent in 1993-94 to 94.6 per cent in 2008-09.
* Revenue expenditure has more than doubled in cash terms between 1993-94 and 2008-09. The corresponding increase in real terms was 58 per cent.
* About 25 per cent of revenue expenditure is funded through council tax.
* Revenue spending per head in 2008-09 was highest in London and the North East.
* Most shire counties spend £500m or more a year, while all shire districts spend less than £40m a year.
* Of the £62.9bn spent on pay in 2008-09, £20.4bn was used to pay teachers.
* Local authority capital expenditure has risen from £14.3 billion in 2004-05, to £19.8 billion in 2008-09.
* Capital spending per head in 2008-09 was highest in London and the North East.
* In 2008-09 capital expenditure of £4.2 billion was financed by unsupported borrowing, under the new prudential system in place since April 2004 (21 per cent of the total).
* About 58 per cent of all local authorities used the powers of self-financed borrowing to finance capital expenditure in 2008-09. However, use varied considerably between 97 per cent of metropolitan districts and 42 per cent of shire districts.
* The stock of capital receipts fell by 24 per cent between 31 March 2008 and 31 March 2009 following a steep fall in in-year receipts during 2008-09.
* The value of local authority fixed assets is estimated at £244 billion on 31 March 2009.
* Local authorities’ gross outstanding debt at 31 March 2009 was £53.6 billion, the largest proportion of which is owed to the Public Works Loan Board (76 per cent).
* Local authorities’ investments at 31 March 2009 were £26.8 billion following a fall of over £3 billion during 2008-09; nearly 70 per cent of these investments were deposits with banks or building societies.
* The Local Government Pension Scheme had around 3.9 million members at the end of March 2009 and had a fund value of £97 billion compared with £120 billion a year earlier.