Local government funding 2020-2021: process overview

Overview of the process to determine the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2020 to 2021. The figures used are set out in Finance Circular 2/2020, which was agreed by Parliament prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so do not take account of additional COVID-19 funding.

How did we calculate each council’s fair share of the available funding?

The first part of the process was to calculate each council’s fair share of the £12.7 billion. To do this each service area was considered separately. In 2020-21 there were 168 such areas considered.

For example, within Education there were 37 different areas considered, ranging from childcare through to adult education. They varied in size, from the £1.1 billion pot for secondary school teaching, to the £0.5 million pot for Further Education travel responsibilities in some areas.

You can see a full list of the 168 areas, together with their allocations, in the Local Government Finance Green Book, which is an Annex to this publication. The Green Book is available online at


Pie chart showing the proportions distributed in each broad service area

It is very important to note that the amounts in each service area are not spending targets. They are simply a way of dividing up the £12.7 billion so that each service area is considered.

Councils make spending decisions based on local needs. They are generally not expected to spend the amounts distributed on each service.

The actual amounts spent by councils in each service area are therefore different from the above chart.


Email: gaestatistics@gov.scot

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