West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2021-10-18
End date: 2021-11-28
Results: 2022-02-10

West Berkshire Council Budget Challenge

Take the challenge to balance the budget


Last year, we gave you the opportunity to understand the pressures we face when setting our budget by asking you to set a budget using our online simulator. For 2021/22, we remained focused on frontline services, so that we could keep providing those that are important to the district.

We had a great response from you and lots of good ideas on how to balance the budget, so we're running the 'Budget Challenge' this year too.

We're setting you the challenge of balancing our 2022/23 budget, which we've estimated to be £147m. We're asking you to work out how you would divide the budget between core services, such as Learning and Libraries, Rubbish and Recycling, and Social Care, and close a gap of £9m between the income we receive and the money we need to spend.

Our budget simulator is easy to use. It allows you to increase or decrease spending across council services, and see the consequences of your choices. Some of our services, such as Social Care, are there to support vulnerable people, and so the budget cannot be reduced by large amounts, as those people that rely upon these vital services would be badly affected. Also, we can only put Council Tax up by a maximum of 2% for core services and a further 3% for Adult Social Care. Any more than that and we'd have to hold a formal referendum, which could cost up to £250k, and the result might be that residents don't want to raise Council Tax any higher than 5%.

Wherever you choose to spend or save, the overall budget has to balance. The choice is yours to make.

You can view the pdf icon Frequently Asked Questions [25kb] from the last challenge online. We'll update these during the challenge, if needed.

How to take part

Take the challenge online

If you have any questions about the simulator, please contact rcpteam@westberks.gov.uk

The challenge is open until midnight on Sunday, 28 November 2021.

What happens next

Once the challenge has closed, we will look at where you chose to spend your budget, and use this to help inform how we set budgets in the future.

The budget for 2022/23 will be considered and approved by elected members at the Council meeting on Thursday, 3 March 2022.

Who To Contact

Managing statistics, performance metrics, risk and co-ordinating and supporting consultations across West Berkshire Council

01635 503043