’Operating expenses’ are the day-to-day expenses councils make on the maintenance and continuation of existing services and assets. It includes things like staff costs and the costs of running and maintain vehicles and equipment. It is different to ‘capital expenditure’, which is a council’s expenditure on acquiring, upgrading or renewing assets.
These two expenditures are shown separately on this website so that the differences are clear.
In particular, it is important to note that while operating expenses are usually relatively consistent across the years, there can be significant variations in capital expenditure from year to year. For example, if a council constructs a significant asset, such as a community wastewater management scheme, or a new community centre, the capital expenditure for this year will be much higher than in other years.