Budget books

Our budget books look at how much money we think we will receive and how much we think we need in order to run the council in one year. It sets out in detail the money coming in and going out of each council's general fund. The general fund is the name given to the account that contains money to be used in the day to day running of the council. You can find out more about how the councils manage your money, from our page: How do the councils manage your money?

The budget books are split into four chapters:

  • General fund summary, budget requirements - this is a summary that shows the total the council will need in order to manage its services in one year.
  • Detailed revenue budgets for each department - each department is broken down and outgoings, incoming and any savings are illustrated item by item (such as cost of employees, cost of supplies or premises related costs).
  • Subjective analysis as per SERCOP guidance - this is a glossary of terms used to describe the items in the detailed budgets for each department. For example it explains that 'premises related costs' will include any cost of repairs, alterations and use of energy. SERCOP stands for 'Service Reporting Code of Practice' - it is an official format used by all local authorities in their financial reporting to make sure that all authorities report their budgets in the same way. It is reviewed every year by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).
  • Cost centres - this is a list that shows who the head of service is and what departments come under their control.

How to read the budget book

Read our example page with explanations on what it all means. To view budget books for Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, see our page: Budget and financial strategy