What Does Birmingham Spend? (Birmingham City Council Budgeted Gross Spend 2011/12)

Birmingham City Council's budgeted gross spend in 2011/12 was approximately £3.5 Billion (£3,491,450,000), about £3500 per person. Using figures released in the Birmingham Budget Book 2011-12 (pdf),  we've put together some "Treemap" visualisation of the total spend. Each major department / area of spending is shown in a different colour, and the size of the blocks represents the amount of money spent. The categories used are taken from the Budget Book.

It is worth noting that these are gross figures, some services also have substantial incomes, so the net spend is often lower. We've also excluded "recharges" i.e. the council charging itself to collect waste from it's own buildings.  These gross figures provide an overview of the areas where the council is most active.

Click on the figure to open an interactive version in Google Spreadsheets (this may not work on some versions of Internet Explorer, or on iPhones), with links to charts for each individual area.

Thanks to James Cattell for pointing me at the data!
Remember: Government Open Data Hack Day is in Birmingham on the 8th/9th June 2012.

Please send comments to @AndyPryke on twitter, or Andy@the-data-mine.co.uk

Gross Budgeted Spend per Person, £3,500


Figure 1 - Budgeted Gross Spend per Person

It's clear from the chart above that the biggest spend overall is Children, Young People and Families (the light blue section). Most of this is spending on School's Delegated Budgets, over £900 per person per year. This is more than a quarter of the money which appears in the budget.

In the light green, Housing, section, the Housing Revenue Account (spend on council housing) is shown as approximately £295 per person, however, it is worth re-stating that these are the gross figures. In this case the net Housing  Revenue Account figure is actually legally required to be zero - all spending on council housing is balanced against income received for council housing. The gross figures reveal what the council spends effort on, as opposed to the net figures which would reveal "profits" and "losses" on particular services.

If you want to see total figures (rather than per person), they are shown in Figure 2 below (and its linked spreadsheet). The only change compared with Figure 1 is in the numbers shown - they are now in thousands and millions of pounds. We feel this is harder to both understand & remember than the per-person figures, so we've used per-person figures in the rest of the article.

Budgeted Gross Spend - Total Figures

Figure 2 - Budgeted Gross Spend (Total Figures)

Spend in Individual Areas

If we zoom in on one area in particular, in this case Transport, Environment & Regeneration, we can see it in more detail. Again, each sub-area is shown in a different colour, and the size is proportional to the amount budgeted.

Transport, Environment & Regeneration Spend per Person

Figure 3 - Budgeted Gross Spend per Person
Here we see that the council spends approximately £11 per person on Recycling, but almost as much just cleaning the streets. Both are dwarfed by other items such as Highways Maintenance & Management  and Waste Management Contracts (presumably mostly the Tyseley Incinerator contract). Again, you can click on the diagram to open a Google spreadsheet which allows you to click on the smaller boxes to see their values.

We've produced diagrams showing council spending (per person) for all the areas listed in the report. There is also a separate set of diagrams showing total figures rather than per-person. Again, these might not work on an iPhone / iPad or certain versions of Internet Explorer.

Constituency Spending

At the risk of creating tension between constituencies, we've also mapped spending in each of the 10 Birmingham constituencies listed in the budget report. We've also included the "Citywide Constituencies" category, although it is very small in comparison.

Bear in mind that constituencies vary a lot, in terms of the council buildings they contain, deprivation,  density of population etc. Just because one constituency has a higher spend doesn't necessarily mean that it is getting a "better deal" from the council!

Constituencies - Total Spend
Figure 4 - Budgeted Gross Spend for Constituencies (Total Figures)

Constituency Spend - Per Constituent
Figure 5 - Budgeted Gross Spend for Constituencies (per Constituent)

More Diagrams & Information

Want better information about Brum / Other Branches of Government?

Attend the Government Open Data Hack Day on 8th/9th June 2012!

  • If you have a problem which data could help solve
  • If you want to find out what data is available
  • If you're a "data hacker" & want to create & learn


Original Data - See Birmingham Budget Book 2011/12 (pdf) for licence

Birmingham Budget 2011-12 Visualisation by Andy Pryke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License