What is Council Tax and how is it spent?

Council Tax pays for local services such as education, street cleaning and policing. The money collected is divided between the organisations and authorities that provide those services. In West Suffolk, Council Tax is shared between:

  • Suffolk County Council
  • Suffolk Police
  • the district/borough council (Forest Heath or St Edmundsbury)
  • parish or town councils

For the last few years both Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council have frozen levels of Council Tax. This means that you are not paying any more for services that we provide despite our funding from central government being cut.

Parish and town council precepts

Parish and town councils can raise money from people who live in their area. They can do this by 'precepting' the 'principal authority' which in this case is either Forest Heath District Council or St Edmundsbury Borough Council. This means that parish or town councils have instructed the principal authority to collect money on their behalf. This money is collected through the Council Tax.

The pie charts below illustrate how your Council Tax is split between all the different organisations and authorities - these percentages may differ from year to year and are to be taken as a guide:

Forest Heath District Council - how your Council Tax is shared

FHDC CT share

 

St Edmundsbury Borough Council - how your Council Tax is shared

SEBC CT share

What sort of services does my Council Tax pay for?

Your Council Tax will be added to the overall income for each authority. This money will be used to pay for services as well as any administration costs in providing those services.

Suffolk County Council (SCC)

They take the largest share of your Council Tax. This money goes towards providing services for the whole county, listed below:

  • adult and community services - includes adult learning, safeguarding vulnerable people and access to care services
  • children and young people's services - includes education, safeguarding young people, early years support and supporting children and their families
  • public health and protection - includes public health, fire and rescue, community safety, trading standards and emergency planning

Find out more about their services at Suffolk County Council - Council directorates, services and senior officers

To find out in more detail what SCC spends on services, visit their website page: Suffolk County Council, our spending plans you can also read their statement of accounts by following the link: Suffolk County Council, statement of accounts

Suffolk Police

They will put their share of your Council Tax into their overall budget to ensure policing levels are maintained and to carry out any priorities and strategies. You can look at their statement of accounts to see how they manage their money from their website page: Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, group and PCC statement of accounts

Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council

We put your Council Tax towards paying for services such as rubbish collections and maintenance of public spaces. You can find out more from our page: How your money is spent

Parish and town councils

They will spend their share on providing facilities and activities that benefit and bring together local communities. This could be the maintenance of village halls, community events or keeping children's play equipment in good condition.