How we use your money

The council’s budget pays for day-to-day services such as adult social care, children’s services, waste and recycling, planning, transport, highways, street cleaning, parks, playgrounds, libraries and environmental health. The council has set a gross expenditure budget of around £486.8 million for 2024/5 and £118.9 million – just under a quarter – is funded by your Council Tax. The rest is funded from a range of sources including Business Rates, income from fees and charges, and funding from grants.

The chart below shows the relative proportions of the net budget requirement of £167.9m to be spent in each of the key service areas for 2024/25.

Heading is Net Expenditure. 
Bar chart has 6 slices: 36% Children's Services; 34% Communities & Adult Social Care; 12% Economic Growth & Neighbourhood Services; 11% Resources; 7% Corporate Budgets; 1% Chief Executive Services.

Budget by directorate in 2023/24 and 2024/25

Directorate / serviceBudget 2023/24
Budget 2024/25 (£m)Change (£m)
Communities & Adult Social Care50.556.9+ 6.4
Economic Growth & Neighbourhood Services17.819.4+ 1.6
Resources18.619.1+ 0.5
Chief Executive Services1.51.6+ 0.1
Children’s Services52.359.7+ 7.4
Corporate Budgets (inc. capital financing)23.711.2– 12.5
Net budget requirement164.4167.9+ 3.5

Gross income and expenditure in 2023/24 and 2024/25

Income / expenditureBudget 2023/24 (£m) Budget 2024/25 (£m) Change (£m)
Gross expenditure470.9486.8+ 15.9
Gross income– 306.5– 318.9– 12.4
Net budget requirement164.4167.9+ 3.5

How the budget in 2023/24 and 2024/25 is funded

Funded by Budget 2023/24 (£m) Budget 2024/25 (£m) Change (£m)
Business rates (including S31 grant)43.748.1+ 4.4
Revenue support grant2.52.7+ 0.2
New homes bonus grant1.51.3– 0.2
Other government grants1.51.2– 0.3
Collection fund / surplus (deficit)4.2– 4.2 – 8.4
Total funding53.349.0– 4.3
Council Tax requirement111.1118.9+ 7.8

Heading: Net revenue budget funding
Bar chart has 5 slices: 71% Council Tax; 29% Business Rates; 2% Revenue Support Grant; 1% New Homes Bonus; 1% Other Government Grants.

Council Tax and the Adult Social Care precept

In 2024/25, the council’s element of Council Tax will increase by 4.99% – an increase of £1.84 per week for a Band D property and £1.64 a week for a Band C property. The majority of properties in Reading are Band C and below.  The change is made up of a 2.99% increase in general Council Tax and a 2.00% increase for Adult Social Care.

This increase in the Adult Social Care Precept will raise £2.265 million for Adult Social Care and will help us to continue to protect vulnerable adults in the borough. Our Adult Social Care budget has increased by £5.5 million in 2024/25.

Thames Valley Police and Berkshire Fire and Rescue

Your Council Tax also helps to pay for services delivered by Thames Valley Police and the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue service. 

Further information on the budgets and Council Tax requirements for these services can be found at:

Council Tax Leaflets · Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner (

Berkshire Fire and Rescue – financial transparency

Breakdown of Council Tax charges (Band D equivalent)

Reading Borough Council (own purposes)2023/242024/25Change
Band D equivalent charge (excluding adult social care)£1,668.75£1,726.19£57.44
Band D equivalent – adult social care£252.27£290.69£38.42
Band D equivalent total (A*)£1,921.02£2,016.88£95.86

Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley 2023/242024/25Change
Total budget requirement£524.2m£557.9m£35.7m
Reading precept£14.8m£15.9m£1.1m
Band D equivalent (B*)£256.28£269.28£13.00

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service2023/242024/25Change
Total budget requirement£42.0m£46.0m£4.0m
Reading precept£4.6m£4.8m£0.2m
Band D equivalent (C*)£78.95£81.31£2.36

Grand total Band D equivalent (A+B+C)£2,256.25£2,367.47£111.22

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency charges local authorities, including Reading Borough Council, a levy for providing flood defence. In the Thames region, this includes maintenance of the river system and the operation of a flood warning system. In 2023/24 the council was levied £136,751, and for 2024/25 the council has been levied £140,371.  These costs are included within the Corporate Budgets for Reading Borough Council.

Last updated on 18/06/2024