How your Council delivers value for money

As one of the largest unitary Councils in the country, we have a budget of around £1 billion a year. We use this to deliver services to more than half a million residents and over five million visitors a year.

We’re working hard to make Cornwall a great place to live, work and do business, and to deliver value for money for our residents.

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The services we provide include:

  • social care for adults and children
  • housing
  • planning
  • collecting waste and street cleaning
  • education
  • the fire service
  • street lighting and many more

We will be asking residents for your views on our draft Business Plan and Budget proposals during November and December. We will be attending meetings and providing other opportunities for you to talk with Julian German, Deputy Leader of the Council, about the draft budget and what services are important to you. We will provide more information on how you can have your say on our draft budget soon.

You can read about where the Council's budget comes from and how we allocate it below.

We don’t get all of our money from Council tax. Only a quarter, about £270m, comes from Council tax.

Three quarters comes from other sources. We receive nearly £162m in Business Rates. £520m comes from the Government but the majority of this can only be used for specific services like schools, housing benefit and public health, Academy Schools are funded directly by the Government. £10 million comes from other sources including investment income.

On top of that we charge for services like planning, licensing and parking, bringing in £95m a year.

View our how your Council delivers value for money infographic

View our budget income and expenditure graphic

For every £100 we receive to fund services, we spend around:

  • £26 helping children and young people get the best start in life they can
  • £21 caring for adults who need our help
  • £18 on housing benefit for people on low incomes, helping to prevent homelessness
  • £9 planning, and building new affordable homes for local people, investing in Cornwall's economic growth, major road schemes, schools and buildings
  • £7 collecting rubbish and recycling, and looking after our countryside, parks and beaches
  • £6 fixing and maintaining roads, on street lights, and on public transport helping people to get where they need to be
  • £4 running the Council and holding elections
  • £3 on fire and rescue services, fighting and preventing fires and keeping our communities safer
  • £3 helping people keep well and stay healthy
  • £2 on online services to improve customer access and offering different ways for residents to contact us
  • £1 running libraries, registration services and maintaining trading standards.

We aim to deliver value for money in all the services we provide to you. To do that we regularly look at:

  • economy – the cost of providing a service 
  • efficiency - how much we get out for what we put in and
  • effectiveness – the impact of that service, whether or not it meets the desired outcomes.

In delivering value for money, we sometimes have to make changes to how we provide services. If we have to make significant changes we will seek your views and explain our decisions.