What does your Council Tax pay for?

The money collected from Council Tax helps to pay for local services.  

East Lothian Council provides the county’s 104,000 residents with a wide range of services including education, adult and children’s wellbeing, planning, economic development, roads, housing, transportation, environmental health, refuse collection, street cleaning, recycling, food safety, trading standards, community development, sports, recreation, parks and countryside, libraries, museums, registration of births, deaths and marriages and burial grounds.

Every year the council agrees Council Tax charges and allocations of funding to council service areas for the 12 months ahead.  The money you pay in Council Tax generates around 25% of our income.  The remaining 67% comes from the Revenues Support Grant (RSG) including Business Rates and 8% from other Government Grants.


How the budget is spent

In 2021/22:

East Lothian Council has a total budget of £268.283m for public services. This is allocated as shown below:

  • Education and Children’s Services 52%
  • Council Resources 5%
  • Adult Wellbeing 21%
  • Communities & Partnerships 5%
  • Infrastructure 11%
  • Planning and Development 2%
  • Corporate Commitments 4

Our challenges

East Lothian Council is facing challenges.  Rising demand for, and cost of, services and reductions in overall central government funding means doing more with less:

  • cuts in funding and pressures to increase spending mean that the council has to achieve £9.230m in planned efficiencies in order to balance the 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24 budgets
  • east Lothian has one of the fastest rates of growth in population in Scotland from 104,000 to over 120,000 by 2037 – about 1,000 a year
  • the number of people aged 75 year or over will double, as will the number of people with dementia, meaning a big rise in care services for elderly people with dementia
  • the number of children 0-15 years old will grow by over 15%, so we need one new secondary, at least two new primary schools and extensions to many of our schools

Find out more in our Council Tax and Spending 2021/22 leaflet