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Includes data for police, fire and national park authorities for April 2021 to March 2022.


In 2021-22, total revenue expenditure by Welsh local authorities increased by 4.3% to £9.5 billion. Revenue expenditure per head was £2,996 or £124 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 four 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, roads and transport and planning have seen overall reductions since 2010-11. Education and social services now account for 67% of overall unitary authority expenditure compared with 59% in 2010-11 and 60% in 1999-2000.


Capital expenditure increased by 11.4% in 2021-22 to £1,475 million or £465 per head of population. This represents an increase of £151 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 2021-22 partly due to a large increase in housing, which represents 25% of capital expenditure.

Most of this capital expenditure was spent by unitary authorities, with police fire and national park authorities reporting expenditure of £61 million, £11 million and £3 million respectively.


Local authority revenue and capital outturn expenditure: April 2021 to March 2022 , file type: PDF, file size: 424 KB

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Anthony Newby

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