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How we are funded

Find out where our funding comes from, how we're tackling the challenge of budget cuts and how you can help.

Where our money comes from

Islington Council provides over 600 services to our 239,000 residents including schools, services for vulnerable adults, support to local businesses, libraries, street cleaning and community safety.

Most council funding comes from national government, which is why their cuts have such a huge impact. Council tax accounts for only 13% of our income. That doesn’t even cover the annual budget for children's services, which includes major things like children's social care, fostering placements and services such as childcare and children's centres.

Here’s a breakdown of the sources of each pound of the council’s income:

Funding source  How much in each £1
Government grants 58p
Fees and charges and other income 17p
Retained business rates income 13p
Council tax 12p

Council budget cuts

Central Government austerity and funding cuts since 2010 has forced the council to make budget savings.

At the same time, demand for many local services continues to rise – for example, people are living longer and need more specialist support to ensure a good quality of life. The number of children on child protection plans has also increased, which puts pressure on our children’s services. Demand for the council’s services has also risen sharply due to the Covid-19 pandemic and all its consequences for residents and businesses.

We’re working hard to make the most of the money we have, to protect the things that matter to you.

Tackling the challenge

We've managed to make savings since 2010 with only a limited impact on front-line services. We have done this mainly by making the way we do things as efficient as possible, selling our services to bring in money and sharing services with other councils.

We’re also rethinking how we design our services around the people that use them, to make sure they’re joined up and residents can get what they need more quickly and efficiently. We want to identify the issues that local people face as early as possible, to prevent them from getting worse. This makes the experience better for local people, and it also saves the council money.

How can I help?

Do it online! It’s cheaper for the council to process requests online than face-to-face – an online transaction costs roughly 32p compared to £7.40 in person. And it’s quicker and easier for residents too.

It also really helps if you avoid waste and recycle as much as you can. It costs twice as much to get rid of a tonne of rubbish than to recycle it and it is better for the environment. By avoiding waste and recycling as much as you can, you can help save the council many thousands of pounds each year. 

There are many voluntary organisations in Islington and they play a crucial role within the community. Each relies on the help of local people to support those in need. If you could give up some time, visit Voluntary Action Islington to find out how you can get involved.

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