What does your Council Tax pay for?

Our Council Tax team is extremely busy at the moment and although we understand that delays in processing customer enquiries can be frustrating, we are asking that customers please bear with us during this busy time.

If you have contacted the team and are awaiting a reply, please be patient, we will be in touch as soon as we can.  If possible, please avoid contacting the team to ask for a progress update as this generates additional work and may delay your enquiry.

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

East Lothian Council provides the county’s 110,000 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 24% of our income.

  • Council Tax – 24%
  • RSG incl. Business Rates – 67%
  • Other Government Grants – 9%

How the budget is spent

East Lothian Council has a total budget of £320.388m for public services during 2023/24.  This is allocated as shown below:

  • Children’s Services – 6%
  • Education Services – 44%
  • Finance – 2%
  • Corporate Services – 3%
  • Health & Social Care – 21%
  • Development – 1%
  • Housing – 1%
  • Infrastructure – 11%
  • Communities & Partnerships – 5%
  • Corporate Commitments – 6%

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 £45m in planned efficiencies in order to balance the budgets between 2023/24 and 2027/28.
  • 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 leaflet

Important information -  cost of living

With the cost of living increasing, many people are finding it difficult to cover essential daily living costs.

A range of measures are available to help people boost their income. Don't assume you're receiving everything you're entitled to, always check, and if you're still struggling or in doubt, get in touch.

Find out more on our cost of living support pages