Sutton's Future: Achievements
We launched Sutton’s Future in July 2014 to involve residents in helping us to make the hard decisions to reduce, change and in some cases stop services. We received over 8000 responses to the Sutton’s Future project across seven surveys. With the help of residents we have saved over £11m during the course of the project.
Green Garden Waste collection
Our Green Garden Waste service was costing £750,000 a year. We asked residents through Sutton’s Future if they would like the service to stop or would be willing to keep the service provided it was paid for as is the case in many surrounding boroughs. Over 2,000 people took part in the consultation with 69% of residents taking part in the online survey saying they would pay for the service. As a result, we ran a campaign to sign up the 10,000 residents we would need to make the service viable. More than 14,000 people signed up and the paid for service was launched in June 2015.
Council Tax Benefit Reduction Scheme
On 1 April 2013 Council Tax Benefit was replaced by a localised Council Tax Reduction Scheme in all local authorities. When the responsibility was handed over to local authorities, central government reduced the funding for the schemes by about 10 per cent. A public consultation was carried out between the 10th July and 5th October 2016. The survey was completed by 216 respondents (online and post). A shortened paper version of the survey was sent to 1,000 council tax reduction claimants. In addition a telephone survey was conducted with a representative sample of 500 claimants. Following the consultation it was decided to amend the existing Council Tax Reduction scheme, ensuring that each case is individually means tested based on household makeup and income available.
Voluntary Sector Consultation
The council has long-recognised and promoted the importance of the voluntary and community sector as a provider of services, as local campaigners on behalf of their beneficiaries, and as important contributors to the creation of social capital within our communities. In autumn 2014, we began a review of our support for the voluntary sector and consulted residents and stakeholders through Sutton’s Future. Following the review it was decided to create a new support fund. The new four year Infrastructure Support and Capacity Building Fund launched in spring 2015 and has been developed following consultation with the voluntary and community sector as well as the people of Sutton.
Crisis Loan and Grant Scheme Consultation
From 1 April 2013 responsibility for the Community Care Grant and Crisis Loans transferred to local authorities from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). When the scheme transferred the council was provided with grant funding including administration costs for 2013/14 and 2014/15. In December 2013 the DWP announced that it was cutting the funding to local authorities from 2015/16. Our consultation was open from 10 July 2014 – 2 December 2014. Overall there were 140 responses received (both online and paper), in addition to 515 participants in the telephone survey. The results of the consultation went to the Housing Economy Committee on 9 December 2014. Following the consultation, it was decided to keep the service open to offer support for people in hardship. However it was limited to food and fuel support vouchers, limiting the provision of white goods to basic essential items such as a cooker, fridge, freezer and bed, provide white goods / furniture awards as loans only and reduce the overall level of grant offered.