This is what Leeds Council is set to spend money on in 2020-21

Leeds City Council is expected to meet next week to discuss its final budget for the 2020/21 municipal year.

Friday, 21st February 2020, 4:44 pm
Updated Friday, 21st February 2020, 4:54 pm

Council budgeting can be complicated – the cost of some services can increase, while the amount of income a department makes can also fluctuate.

The issue of inflation – the annual increase in the cost of goods and services in relation to the value of money – also complicates matters.

With this in mind, we have broken down planned spending changes for each council department.

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The meeting will take place in Leeds's Civic Hall.

Adults and Health – this includes services such as adult social and elderly care, and makes up a significant chunk of the budget, with an expected cost of just over £203.9m. This will have reduced, however, from £209.8m.

In the breakdown of figures, employee costs are set to increase from £54.4m in 2019/20 to £57.5m in 2020/21. Agency payments are also expected to rise by just under £12m.

The department expects to see savings in supplies and services of around £3m, coming mainly from a reduction in ‘commissioned services’.

But the department also brings in a lot of money. This income is expected to rise from £146m in 19/20 to £163m in 20/21, mainly due to increases in contributions and government grants.

The department is also expected to make small savings on premises costs, such as rent, electricity and gas.

Children and Families also forms a massive amount of council work, and includes child social services and care. It is set to increase in net cost to the council by around £2m to £140.4m in 2019/20.

Employee costs in this area are expected to increase from £94.9m to £101.6m, made up mainly of costs in direct pay. Agency payments are expected to increase from £93.8m to £108.3m, due mainly to a near-£9m increase in ‘services provided by other organisations’.

As with Adults and Health, Children and Families also raises lots of money, and this is expected to increase by £23m in 2020/21. The increase is mainly made up of government grants and increases in income through charges.

City Development is an area of council work that covers planning, roads, recreation and the management of council-owned property. The net cost of its services in 2020/21 is set to remain steady at £91.3m.

Employee costs are set to rise to £66.5m, while supplies and services are expected to set the department back by an extra £2.4m at £46.9m.

The extra costs of services should be offset by extra income in areas such as charges, sales and government grants.

The council’s Resources and Housing department covers areas such as council housing and the management of council buildings. It is set to see the net cost to the council of its services increase from £87.2m to £94.7m.

The increase is hardly surprising, as the bulk of its expenditure goes on employee costs, which are set to rise from £157.2m to £164.9m in 20/21.

A £3m increase in supplies and services and an £800,000 rise in transport costs are also expected.

Much of the increases are expected to be covered by internal income, such as money from other areas of the council, as well as a near £1m expected increase in the sales of goods and services.

Communities and Environment is probably what first comes to mind when you think about council services – it includes refuse collection, housing benefit, environmental health and parks.

It’s net council spend is expected to rise by just under £2m next year to £87.1m. Staff costs for the department are expected to rise from £88.6m to £92.2m.

The department has also bracing itself for a massive reduction in the amount of housing benefits payments, expected to drop from £253.7m to £185.4m.

However, this is offset by a similarly huge reduction in the amounts the department will generate – reducing by around £67m to £273m. This is mainly due to reductions in government grants.

Believe it or not, there is one council department which generates more money than it spends.

The Strategic and General Accounts department is expected to contribute £91.7m to council coffers – however, this is down by about £3m from 2019/20.

The authority is set to meet on Wednesday, February 26 to discuss finalising the budget.