Budget Consultation 2024-25

Closed 31 Jan 2024

Opened 14 Dec 2023


Every year, we spend around £100 million providing public services that you, your family and friends use every day. Oxford City Council wants to hear from you on its budget proposals for 2024-25.  

The financial environment for local authorities at the present remains challenging. Dividend returns from our wholly owned companies are reducing as higher interest rates and inflation harm their finances. Inflation is not expected to return to manageable levels for some time to come and mean we are spending substantially more money on utilities for things like council buildings and leisure centres. The cost of living is increasing pressure for above average pay settlements, and we need to support growing numbers of families falling into homelessness. In this difficult climate difficult decisions are required to be taken.   

The Council has used its reserves to bridge gaps in its finances over the last few years and further use of reserves remains part of the Budget Strategy with a further £7.5 million to be used over the coming years. Other components of the strategy in priority order include : 

  • Continue to support our wholly owned companies, OX Place and Oxford Direct Services in delivery of houses and front line services.  

  • Making a further £17 million of efficiencies and increased income from fees and charges leading to ongoing increases of £3.8 million annually with effect from 2028-29.  

  • Continue with our approach to service transformation, for instance by reducing our office footprint, restructuring management tiers, making new use of technology and improving how these systems operate, reviewing how we procure goods and services and continuing with our progress to enabling access to more services electronically on line and self- service by our customers. 

  • Use of reserves in the period while savings are being delivered.  

  • Maximising the use of our assets 

  • Making cuts to discretionary services    

The draft budget proposes a Council Tax rise of 2.99% for the next financial year from April 2024, an increase of £10.06 per year, or 19 pence per week, for the average band D household.  It also proposes a continuation of full council tax relief for those on the lowest incomes for another year and charging a 100% council tax premium on second homes (from April 2024 onwards – the first time we can do this) as well as removing the unfurnished empty homes discount of 1 month to get much needed homes back into use. 

We would like to hear your views on our draft budget and get a deeper understanding of your priorities, needs and aspirations in relation to our services and your community. 


  • Anyone from any background


  • Budget
  • Residents' Survey
  • Pulse Survey