Council tax financial information

How council tax is spent

Find out how we use money raised through council tax and other means to help local people in Leeds in 2020/21.

Why council tax has gone up

The money we are going to get from the government this year is around £266 million less than it was in 2010. We are saving £28 million this year by making our operations more efficient but we also need £17 million more from council tax.

We are spending more money (around 61% of our entire budget) on supporting older people, keeping vulnerable children safe and helping people with disabilities.

Full explanation of the council tax increase

Once again, the council has had to prepare its annual budget within the limits set by the Government’s spending plans. Our annual budget is set within the context of the Government’s spending review on 4 September, which covered the financial year 2020/21. A full multi-year spending review will be conducted by Government in 2020 setting national capital and resource budgets beyond 2020/21.

To date the council has responded successfully to this financial challenge. Although our budget strategy does see many areas of the council continuing to reduce budgets, we continue to focus on the ambitions outlined in our Best Council Plan. Our ambition is for Leeds to be the best city in the UK: compassionate and caring with a strong economy; which tackles poverty and reduces inequalities; working towards being a net zero carbon city by 2030. We want Leeds to be a city that is distinctive, sustainable, ambitious, fun and creative for all, with a council that its residents can be proud of as the best council in the country.

Recognising the increasing demand for Adult Social Care (ASC) services, in 2016/17 the Government announced a new power for local authorities with social care responsibilities to increase council tax. Government has again permitted a 2% ASC precept for 2020/21. The Leeds element of council tax for 2020/21 is therefore increasing by 3.99%, made up of a 1.99% core increase plus 2% to be used exclusively to protect and improve ASC services. This increase is within the limits set by Government.

Council tax bills include amounts (also known as “precepts”) for the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Fire and Rescue Authority. The Police and Crime Commissioner has increased the Police council tax by £9.33 (4.99%) per Band D property and the Fire and Rescue Authority have increased their council tax by £1.28 (1.97%) per Band D property. As a result the overall increase in council tax in Leeds is 4.03%, which in cash terms is £66.25 for a band D property - equivalent to £1.27 per week.

For those living in areas with parish or town councils the overall increase may be slightly different, because many local precepts set by these councils and included in your council tax bill have also changed this year.

Our consultation on the Initial Budget Proposals for 2020/21 tells us that people were generally supportive of the council’s approach to the budget, with more than three quarters of those responding agreeing that we should raise money through increasing council tax and charges. The consultation identified that the services identified by those responding as mattering a lot to the city of Leeds were:

  • keeping children safe (85%)
  • working with police to prevent and tackle crime and antisocial behaviour (80%)
  • keeping streets and neighbourhoods clean and dealing with waste (79%)
  • supporting older and vulnerable people (77%)
  • making roads safe, reducing congestion and making it easier to get around (77%)

The same five services were identified as the highest personal priorities for the people who responded, though in a slightly different order. In addition, ‘tackling climate change and protecting the environment’ ranked joint 5th highest personal priority.

Over 61% of our expenditure for 2020/21 will be on ASC and Children’s Services, reflecting our Best Council Plan priority to support the most vulnerable across the city.

Despite having to take difficult decisions about the level and quality of services and how to target them towards greatest need, we continue to develop our approach to design care and support arrangements around the strengths of individual service users and carers.

We have included extra funding to support teams in Adults and Health to work with dementia sufferers.

Leeds is nationally recognised as a sector leader in Children and Families and is using grant funding from the Department for Education’s Partner in Practice programme to invest in new initiatives around early intervention, staff development and the adolescent service to reduce the numbers of Children Looked After in the city.

As an authority, we have increased our lowest pay rate to £9.36 per hour, a figure 6p above the Real Living Wage rate of £9.30 an hour. We have also, in respect of services commissioned from external providers by both Adults and Health and Children and Families directorates made financial provision to be consistent with the national minimum wage assumptions for 2020/21.

We continue to invest in homelessness prevention, reducing temporary accommodation placements and assisting rough sleepers with drug and alcohol dependency issues, and to support local voluntary organisations.

The council continue to invest in the infrastructure of the city, with funding provided to support and maintain highways, bridges, transport and street lighting packages, making roads safe, reducing congestion and making it easier to get around.

Extra funding has been budgeted for to enable the council to deliver its ambition to become carbon neutral and to help address the climate emergency.

As in previous years the council is working with West Yorkshire Police to ensure that numbers of Police and Community Safety Officers (PCSOs) in the Leeds district will be maintained at current levels.

Leeds will again host one of the stages of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2020, boosting the local economy and showcasing Leeds and Yorkshire across the world.

We have budgeted to save over £28m in 2020/21 mainly by continuing to deliver organisational efficiencies: reducing spending on back office operations whilst protecting frontline services and those for the most vulnerable through tightly managed staffing levels, reviewing leadership and management arrangements, reducing non-essential budgets and making savings in procurement and purchasing.

What we use the money for

Council tax helps to pay for vital services that we provide for people across Leeds every day. This includes:

  • keeping children safe
  • supporting older and vulnerable people with the costs of care
  • preventing homelessness
  • tackling crime and antisocial behaviour
  • keeping streets and neighbourhoods clean
  • looking after local parks and community spaces
  • investing in the city's infrastructure

What it is not used for

Council homes

Council tax is not used to pay towards rent or repairs for council homes. We use money raised through rent to pay for these services.


Schools are funded by the government through a grant.

Clean Air Zone

The Clean Air Zone is being funded by a government grant and with the money that will be generated by the zone.

How much money we need

For 2020/21 we need nearly £2.1 billion to provide the key services needed by the people of Leeds. This is around £32 million more than last year.

Where our money comes from

We get our money from lots of different sources such as grants, rents, taxes and fees. The money we raise through council tax is around 16% of our 2020/21 budget.

To find out how much council tax will be this year visit our bands and charges page.

Government grants
£927 million
Fees and charges
£307 million
£230 million
Council tax
£337 million
Business rates
£192 million
£97 million
Total £2.090 billion

How much we spend on each service

Your council tax is calculated by adding together the money needed by:

  • the council
  • the West Yorkshire Combined Authority
  • the Environment Agency
  • the Police and Crime Commissioner West Yorkshire
  • the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority
  • your parish or town council (if you have one)

Council services

This table shows how much we will spend on delivering our services, how much of that comes from council tax and how each pound of council tax is shared between our services.   

 Total neededAmount from council taxAmount per £1 of council tax
Adult social care£689.7m£111.2m
Children's services£418m£67.4m£0.20
Bin collections, street cleaning and waste disposal£125.4m£20.2m£0.07
Public transport£104.5m£16.8m£0.05
Parks and leisure£83.6m£13.5m£0.04
Tackling poverty£83.6m£13.5m£0.04
Libraries and learning£20.9m£3.37m£0.01
Council housing£20.9m£0£0
Other (including environmental health and community safety)

This table shows the percentage of our budget that we spend on the different resources we need to operate.   

External service providers21%
Supplies and Transport12%
Paying benefits
Maintaining buildings and premises
Paying Debt and Interest5%

Police and fire services

The police and fire services also use council tax to help fund their services. The amount they need is shown seperately on your bill. 

This table shows the total amount of money they need from council tax. 

Police and Crime Commissioner West Yorkshire£42.7m
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority£14.7m

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has powers in respect of flood and coastal erosion risk management for 2,292 km of main river and along tidal and sea defences in the area of the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. 

Money is spent on: 

  • building new flood defences
  • maintaining the river system
  • maintaining existing flood defences
  • operating a flood warning system
  • managing the risk of coastal erosion

Regional committee financial information

This table shows the total amount of money they need from council tax from across the whole of Yorkshire. 

Gross expenditure£94.6m
Levies raised£2.52m

Investing in the future for Leeds

We are investing £1.6 billion over the next four years in important infrastructure projects across the city. This investment will create 5,110 jobs and an extra £1.17 billion per year for the local economy. 

We are investing: 

  • £269 million for new build council housing and extra care housing
  • £327 million to maintain current council housing stock
  • £79 million to improve our public transport network
  • £102 million on the east Leeds orbital road
  • £79 million to improve flood defences upstream of the city centre
  • £166 million to support and maintain other highways, bridges, transport and street lighting
  • £82 million for schools and other children’s services
  • £21 million for adult social care initiatives
  • £39 million for the Clean Air Zone

£362 million is also being invested in developing:

  • Leeds Playhouse
  • a new wellbeing centre
  • Kirkgate Market
  • George Street
  • Leeds Railway Station
  • Southbank regeneration
  • public spaces in the city centre

You can read more about how we are investing in Leeds in our Best Council Plan.

Adult Social Care precept

The Adult Social Care (ASC) precept is an extra amount of tax that helps pay towards caring for elderly and disabled people in Leeds. The Government introduced the precept to help councils make up the shortfall in funding for the costs of care.

It is not a direct charge for using services and every home pays it, even if someone living there is paying for their own care.

ASC precept increase

The increase for 2020/21 is 2%. It is a percentage of the amount paid for Leeds City Council and the amount paid for last year’s precept combined. It doesn’t include the amounts for the police and fire services.      

To check if is correct yourself, you add the amounts for Leeds City Council and ASC precept from last year’s bill together. To work out 1% divide the combined amount by 100. Multiply this by 2 to work out 2%. Then add this amount to the amount you paid for the ASC precept last year. This will give you the amount of precept you need to pay this year.      


Sam lives in a Band A property in Big Town. Big Town council are increasing their ASC precept by 2% for this year. Sam’s bill says that the ASC precept will increase from £50 to £70. Sam thinks the bill looks wrong.

Last year Sam paid £1,200 in council tax. Sam paid:

  • £950 for Big Town Council
  • £50 for the ASC precept
  • £150 for the police
  • £50 for the fire service

To check the increase is right Sam needs to work out 2% of the amount paid for Big Town council (£950) and ASC (£50).

Here's how Sam did it:

£950 + £50 = £1,000
£1,000 ÷ 100 = £10 (this is 1% of £1,000)
£10 × 2 = £20 (this is 2% of £,1000)

Sam then needs to add this to the amount they paid for ASC last year.

£20 + £50 = £70

This year Sam will pay £70 for the ASC precept.

Statement concerning adult social care funding

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 ASC 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.

Calculations for each council tax band

ASC precept
Council tax band2019/20 basic chargesIncrease for 2020/21 (2%)Cumulative ASC preceptTotal ASC precept on your 2020/21 bill

These figures may be subject to rounding.                    

Parish and town councils

Some parts of the Leeds City Council area are served by parish or town councils. These councils are separate from Leeds City Council. They elect their own councillors and set their own budgets. They are responsible for making the town or parish a nice place to live.

If you live in one of these areas, your council tax will be higher to pay for your share of the parish or town council. This extra charge is called a precept and will be shown separately on your council tax bill.

Parish and town council precept information
Parish precept
ParishParish precept 2019/20Parish precept 2020/21Parish band D council tax 2020/21
Aberford and District£21,000£21,000£27
Allerton Bywater£39,220£40,500£27.16
Bardsey cum Rigton£34,000£34,700£30.52
Barwick in Elmet and Scholes£37,148£37,148£18.52
Boston Spa£51,160£52,673£26.41
Bramham cum Oglethorpe£25,120£25,603£34.71
Bramhope and Carlton£56,300£57,524£30.50
Collingham with Linton£91,000£95,000 £55.75
East Keswick£19,000£19,500£33.01
Great and Little Preston£22,500£27,500£44.33
Pool in Wharfedale£43,176£46,630£47.67
Thorp Arch£22,500£19,200£51.05

Precepts shown are rounded to the nearest pound.

To find out more, contact your parish or town clerk, or local parish or town councillor.

If you need contact details for your parish or town clerk you contact the council’s Parish Liaison Officer on 0113 535 1239.

If you want to know more

You can find more information, including details of the annual Statement of Accounts, our Budget and Best Council Plan, our Capital Programme and other Strategic and Business Plans within our Your council section.

You can also ask for paper copies by writing to:

Resources and Housing
Leeds City Council
Civic Hall

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