Budget and Council Tax 2023/24

During the financial year 2023/24 the Council plans to spend £730m on the provision of a wide range of services to Stockport residents.

This includes £242m for schools which will be met by dedicated government grants, and £63m on the provision of Council housing which is met primarily from rent income. After taking account of income from fees and charges and a number of specific grants the 2023/24 net revenue budget for Council services has been set at £310m.

What is the Cost of Providing Services?

Council Tax 23/24

For 2023/24 Government set the limit for increasing Council Tax before triggering a local referendum at 4.99%. Government continues to place a heavy reliance on local taxation to fund local services and assumes councils will increase Council Tax by the maximum allowable increase in its calculation of councils’ core spending power (the amount of resources Government calculates that each council needs to deliver local services). In addition, the Adult Social Care Precept has become embedded in Government’s funding allocation to support the increasing costs of social care services to vulnerable residents. This means that increasing Council Tax by less than the maximum allowable increase, the Council is forgoing income Government expect it to collect to fund the provision of local services. However, in making its decision to increase Council Tax, the Council must balance the need to set a robust and resilient budget alongside the impact on residents particularly given the rising cost of fuel, energy and food due to the continuing cost of living crisis.

Following careful consideration, Council Tax will increase by 3.99% in 2023/24. Of this, 2% relates to the increase to the ‘Adult Social Care Precept’ to provide the Council with funding to meet the increasing cost of providing adult social care services to vulnerable residents across the Borough. Council Tax income will total £183.7m (including the Adult Social Care Precept). For a ‘Band D equivalent’ property in Stockport this equates to a Council Tax charge of £1,883.41 in 2023/24.

The Council is also required to collect a Mayoral Police and Crime Commissioner Precept and the Mayoral General (including Fire Services) Precept on behalf of the Greater Manchester Mayor and Greater Manchester Combined Authority. This results in an overall Council Tax charge for a ‘Band D equivalent’ property in Stockport of £2,234.66 in 2023/24.

In 2023/24 the Council will continue to pilot the 100% Business Rates Retention scheme. The Council will retain 99% of the Business Rates income collected (1% will be paid to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority for Fire Services). As a result, around £87m of the net expenditure will be funded by Business Rates income collected.

Positive Investments

As part of the 2023/24 Budget the Council has made a commitment to invest available one-off resources to support identified priorities.

Free School Meals (FSM) Eligibility £1.875m – the Council has committed to widening the eligibility for FSM for one academic year. The eligibility will be widened to include children living in families in receipt of Local Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit who are not already receiving FSM. This is part of the Council’s response to the cost of living crisis and support to prevent of child hunger across the Borough. Working in partnership with schools this will benefit around 3,600 children in Stockport.

Ward Discretionary Funds £0.260m – this investment will provide each Ward with a discretionary fund to support identified priorities. The additional resources will be used by Ward Councillors to spend locally on what residents need most in their community. This recognises the diversity of the Borough and that in each area, residents have different needs and priorities.

How is the Council Funded?

How is the council funded?

2023/24 Capital Programme

The Council has ambitious capital investment plans for the Borough to help regenerate the local economy, create jobs and develop strong communities. Future
capital investment plans are extensive and varied and the Capital Strategy and
three-year Capital Programme will enable significant improvements to the Council’s
infrastructure, deliver new housing and boost the local economy.

The Council’s 2023/24 three year Capital Programme is £322m in total and includes capital schemes to deliver capital plans as follows:

  • Highways and Infrastructure – this includes capital schemes: Street Lighting Investment Programme, Cheadle Railway Station and walking/cycling facilities, Merseyway Car Park Waterproofing, Highways Investment Programme, Town Centre Access Plan and the Mayoral Walking and Cycling Challenge Fund;
  • Housing – this includes capital schemes to support the programme of housing general capital works and the Affordable Housing Programme; and
  • Regeneration – this includes capital schemes to support the regeneration of the Town Centre and District Centres including major schemes to support the regeneration of Stockport Interchange, Stockport Exchange, Merseyway redevelopment work and the Markets and Underbanks regeneration scheme.

The Capital Programme is funded by capital grants and contributions from Government and other third parties, revenue contributions to capital spend and borrowing.

Further details of the Council’s budget, including details of the Council Tax and Precepts, are available on the Council Tax page.

Michael Cullen
Deputy Chief Executive