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Includes data for police, fire and national park authorities for April 2020 to March 2021.


In 2020-21, total revenue expenditure by Welsh local authorities increased by 9.6% to £9.1 billion. This is mainly due to the extra funding that was made available due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Revenue expenditure per head was £2,872 or £238 higher than the previous year.

Prior to the 2008-09 recession and the subsequent austerity measures, annual increases of 5% or 6% were regularly reported but since 2010-11 only three years have seen growth exceeding 2%.

This has had a varying impact depending on the service areas, although changes in classification means analysis over time should be taken with caution. In general, statutory services such as education and social services have been protected (with social services having seen the biggest increase in expenditure) but other services such as libraries, local environmental services, roads and transport and planning have seen overall reductions since 2010-11. Education and social services now account for 66% of overall unitary authority expenditure compared with 59% in 2010-11 and 60% in 1999-2000.


Capital expenditure increased by 6.3% in 2020-21 to £1,324 million or £418 per head of population. This represents an increase of £78 million over the previous year.

In general, capital expenditure is more volatile and can be impacted heavily by large investments or adjustments. Expenditure increased in 2020-21 partly due to a large increase in education, which represents 24% of capital expenditure. In contrast, the housing and planning services saw large decreases.

Most of this capital expenditure was spent by unitary authorities, with police fire and national park authorities reporting expenditure of £59 million, £12 million and £4 million respectively.


Local authority revenue and capital outturn expenditure, April 2020 to March 2021 , file type: PDF, file size: 536 KB

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Datasets and interactive tools


Anthony Newby

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