How we spend your money

Council spending leaflet


Front cover of Spending leafletInformation for council tax and business rates payers. Download our spending leaflet for 2018/9.

All in all we plan to spend more than £1 billion in 2018/19 on services including:

  • 2,209 potholes and footway defects repaired
  • 26,300 street lights maintained
  • 315 miles of streets and pavements maintained
  • 121,596 households have their rubbish collected
  • 17,774 flytips cleared up
  • 38 per cent of rubbish sent for recycling, reuse, recovery and composting
  • 5,961 planning applications processed between 1 April and 31 December 2016
  • 110 parks and open spaces maintained
  • 985 allotment plots across 22 sites
  • 48,260 pupils being taught in Brent Schools
  • 510 new school places created in 2017
  • 4,150 elderly and vulnerable adults receiving social care
  • 1,750,913 leisure centre visitors
  • 2,516,683 library visits.

The majority of the funding is raised from government grants, such as £219 million in grant for schools and £349 million in subsidy to meet the cost of housing benefit for tenants in the private rented sector.

About £115 million of the money that we spend on services is raised through council tax collections.

The remaining funds are raised through charges that are paid directly by service users. These include charges for sports facilities, parking and contributions towards care packages.

The annual council tax charge for a band D property in 2018/19 is £1,496.54 (£1,202.31 of which funds Brent Council services and £294.23 goes towards Greater London Authority services).

How your council tax is spent

Council tax is your contribution to the many services we provide such as schools, roads, libraries, meals in the home and rubbish collection.

The charge includes a payment to Brent Council, the Greater London Authority and also includes charges payable to the Police Authority and the Fire Service. 

Every March, councillors agree a budget and then set the amount of money to be collected from council tax.

Increase in Council Tax charges

There is a Council Tax increase of 4.99 per cent for 2017/18, which is made up of 2.99 per cent for general services and a specific 2 per cent extra allowed by government which will go to adult social care.

For councils like Brent with social care responsibilities, the Secretary of State has made the following statement to explain increases:

“The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax for financial years from the financial year beginning in 2016 without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care. Subject to the annual approval of the House of Commons, the Secretary of State intends to offer the option of charging this “precept” at an appropriate level in each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019-20.”

Spending details

Further information concerning the council's spending can be found in the Brent Council spending leaflet 2018/19. This provides information for council tax and business rate payers on:

  • our planned spending for the year ahead
  • the Greater London Authority's spending
  • council tax levels in Brent

The budget book provides details of our spending plans for each service for the upcoming year (see the budget book tab for more information).

Our annual accounts provide detailed information on spending over the past year. Regular updates on financial issues affecting the council can be found in The Brent Magazine.

Please see the related links above for more information.

Councillors regularly receive information on the council's spending plans and patterns.

This information allows them to make critical decisions on how money is to be spent in the future and also enables them to ensure that all money is used effectively.

These include:

  • the annual budget report which is considered by the whole council in March of each year. This report aids councillors in deciding how to allocate the resources available to the council, and also in agreeing the level of council tax to be set. The report also sets out the council's strategy for managing the council's finances over the medium to long term.
  • regular budget monitoring reports that provide councillors with information on spending, activity, and performance. Reports go to the Cabinet during the year.
  • the medium term financial strategy which sets out the financial prospects of the council over the next three years and highlights the measures that the council will need to take to ensure that spending can be contained within resources.


Council spending leaflet


Front cover of Spending leafletInformation for council tax and business rates payers. Download our spending leaflet for 2018/9.