Last updated:

30th April 2024

How your Council Tax is spent

The council's spending explained

The majority of Council Tax payer's money is spent on those people who need our support the most.

About 60 percent of our spend goes on adult social care and children’s services.

That means it is used to help people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, mental and physical health problems as well as children at risk of harm or neglect to live a safe, full and rewarding life.

A pie chart with a pound in the middle, showing how each pound is spent. It shows 35p to adult social care, 23p to children's services, 29p to place and growth, 7p to resource and assets, and 6p to the chief executive's office

How each pound is spent

  • 35p on Adult Social Care services including Adult Safeguarding, Adult Social Care and Public Health
  • 23p on Children’s Services services including Child Safeguarding, Children’s Social Care, Corporate Parenting and School Support
  • 29p on Place and Growth services including Transport and Highways, Waste and Recycling, Planning, Community Safety, Parks and Open Spaces
  • 7p on Resources and Assets services including Finance, Governance and Democratic Process, Procurement, Property and Assets
  • 6p on Chief Executive’s Office services including Libraries, Climate Emergency, IT, HR and Communications

Adult social care

Adult social care - pair of frail hands


On average, more than 35 percent of the money we receive from Council Tax every year funds social care support for adults.

If you have a disability or health condition, which could affect us at any time, you might need help to continue living in our community, surrounded by loved ones and enjoying as many of the things we value as possible.

Well organised social care helps us stay connected to others and allows us to live the way we want, with purpose, connection and dignity, at all stages.

We work with partners to help people use their skills to the full, improving their wellbeing and benefiting others, while uniting family, friends and neighbours to help people pursue what matters most.

This involves a wide range of support across many teams like the safeguarding team, who keep people safe, or occupational therapists who help people stay at home for longer if this is possible and they want to do so.

Our voluntary and charity partners include CLASP, a group for adults with learning difficulties, and The Link Visiting Service, a befriending service to combat loneliness.

Children's services

Children's services - family of four


The main purpose of Children’s Services is to support and protect vulnerable children, and 23p of every pound you pay in Council Tax contributes to funding this important work.

We need to bring some children into our care to ensure they are safe from harm. Many of these children need all kinds of support to help them achieve, stay healthy and be prepared for adulthood, and this extends beyond them leaving our care.

We also keep children safe through Child Protection Plans, working with them and their families to address issues which may put them at risk of harm and stop these from getting worse.

For other vulnerable children, we provide 'child in need' support to ensure they have what they need to thrive.

Of course, it's important that we work with children, young people and families to tackle emerging problems as soon as possible, and our Early Help services offer a range of interventions to tackle these before they escalate.

Our education teams focus on helping vulnerable children and young people to achieve on a similar level to their peers, and we support those with special educational needs and disabilities to achieve the best they can.

We support children in schools in lots of different ways, including educational psychology, mental health support teams and education welfare, as well as supporting families who choose to home educate. 

We have a 'virtual school', which provides bespoke support to help children in care overcome any barriers to meeting their potential, and a service that helps young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) to access opportunities.

These are just some examples of the diverse, complex work our children’s services teams carry out in partnership with many other organisations.

Place and growth

Dinton Pastures Country Park


Place and Growth is an area of the council which supports a number of ‘universal’ services that pretty much everybody uses.

This includes things like transport and highways, waste and recycling, planning and community safety, and parks and open spaces. These take up about 29 percent of our spending.

Active travel, transport and highways

Cycling in the borough


Our transport and highways teams cover the pavements, paths and roads we use from the second we leave our homes, maintaining this complex system so you can travel how you like and as easily as possible.

Keeping you safe is our top priority, so our partners Volker Highways regularly inspect the network.

We also promote active travel – or walking, cycling and wheeling – through our My Journey Wokingham team, who run all kinds of classes and competitions to help people get outside more.

They also work to secure more infrastructure for active travel, which is a crucial part of our mission to improve air quality and do all we can to tackle the climate emergency.

Waste and recycling

Bin lorry


Our waste and recycling collections and grass cutting are part of our environmental services, also part of Place and Growth.

Due to current pressures, we can't continue with weekly household collections. Changing to fortnightly general rubbish and recycling collections, with food still collected weekly, would save about £1million a year.

More than 9,000 people took part in our recent consultation and the council’s decision-making executive agreed these changes at its meeting in March 2023.

Starting from late summer 2024, your general rubbish will be collected one week and recycling the next, while food waste will continue to be collected every week.

You will also receive a wheeled bin to store and put out your general rubbish, instead of the current system of using blue plastic bags.

Resources and assets

Swimmers in the main swimming pool at Carnival Hub


Our resources and assets directorate oversees the council's finances, including financial support for residents and Council Tax.

It also manages our properties across the borough including:

  • community centres
  • children’s centres
  • leisure centres
  • building projects

Democratic and electoral services, which organises all the borough elections and the council's meeting and decision-making, are also looked after by this part of the council.

Chief executive's office

Browsing area with colourful flexible shelving and breakout tables and chairs.jpg


The chief executive's office includes the important services that help the council to function such as HR and IT. As well as being responsible for our customer services, website, communications and consultations.

It is also responsible for the borough’s libraries and community development work.

Statutory services

The majority of our money is spent on statutory services which we have to provide by Law.

More and more of our funding goes on statutory services, as more residents need them each year. This creates an increased demand for services.

Our budget for 2023/24 is £157million:

  • 79 percent of this goes to statutory services like adult social care, children's services, waste collection and disposal and roads
  • 21 percent of this goes on non-statutory services like leisure

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