Council award ceremonies

This year many local councils in England will be allowed to raise council tax by more than 5 per cent1,2. As many local authorities across Britain further limit service provision, often taxpayers are paying more for less. Meanwhile, most local authorities are continuing to spend significant amounts of money on a range of award ceremonies. This study shows the amount of money spent by councils on hosting, supporting or attending award ceremonies in the last three financial years.

Key findings

  • In 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 the UK’s local authorities spent £6,593,523 on award ceremonies, with the average cost to the taxpayer per council being £18,064.

  • Derbyshire County Council spent the most at £218,483 on award ceremonies within the time period. This was almost 12 times the national average and £14,658 more than all the Welsh councils combined.

  • 65 councils, including South Derbyshire District Council, spent nothing on award ceremonies. In many cases this was due to successful sponsorship arrangements.

  • Northern Irish councils spent over 3 times more than the average local authority on award ceremonies.

  • Welsh councils spent 44 per cent less than the UK average on award ceremonies.

  • Scottish award ceremony spending was almost 40 per cent higher than the average spent by English councils.

  • Average awards ceremony spending in London was well over double the English average.

Click here to read the full report

Click here to see the full data set with council by council breakdown



1 In 2019-20 local authorities will be allowed to raise council tax by 3 per cent without holding a local referendum. Furthermore, local authorities with responsibility for social care have been allowed to raise council tax by up to 2 per cent annually between 2017-18 and 2019-20 up to a maximum increase of 6 per cent over that period.

Brokenshire, J., James Brokenshire sets out funding measures for councils. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, 2018. Available at: Accessed 1st February 2019.

2 HM Treasury.,
Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015. Page 33.


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