Published Friday, 8th February 2019
News update regarding budget and financials
Reductions in government funding and continued pressure on the council’s budget mean council tax is set to rise in Sutton for 2019/20.
The increase is needed to support the growing need for council support, particularly for vulnerable people, rising prices and new burdens from government legislation.
Sutton Council is proposing to use the government’s additional council tax precept for adult social care of 2% to partially contribute to the extra costs of adult care for the elderly. A further 2.99% increase will also be recommended to Full Council for 2019/20 to cover growing inflationary costs and budget pressures.
For the Sutton element on an average band D property this will mean an increase of £26.17 (2.00%) a year for the adult social care precept to care for the elderly, and £39.12 a year (2.99%) for general purposes. This will result in a Band D council tax of £1,373.81, an increase of £65.29 compared to 2018/19, equivalent to £1.26 a week.
The Mayor of London, who oversees the Greater London Authority, has proposed to increase its precept by 8.93%, taking it from £294.23 in 2018/19 to £320.51, an increase equivalent to £26.28 or 51p a week. The Mayor states that this increase will provide additional resources to support the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade. The draft budget is due to be considered by the Greater London Authority on 22 February.
Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:
“Like councils across the country we continue to have to make tough decisions regarding how we invest the borough’s budget. We are working with our partners to review all the services we provide to make sure we invest every penny as efficiently as possible. We continue to look for new ways of working to save us money to maintain the services we all need.
“But central government reductions to our overall funding continue to put pressure on all local councils. Once again the government has given with one hand and taken away with the other. We continually need to do ever more with even less.
“We still face challenges in ensuring we have enough homes to house our vulnerable residents, provide enough school places for our growing young population and can provide the support those with special education needs require.
“Despite the pressures we face we remain ambitious for Sutton. We know the borough is already a great place to live and work and we are working hard to keep it that way. We thank residents for all they already do to help and hope you share our ambitions for all we are still to achieve.”
Since 2010, Sutton Council has been reviewing all areas of its work in order to make savings. This has included commissioning services with other boroughs, reducing the number of senior managers and staff, and saving millions in care for the elderly costs by supporting residents to stay in their homes longer through measures including greater day-to-day support and putting people in control of their own budgets.
The council’s financial plan over the next three years anticipates that after a balanced budget in 2019/20, which includes savings of £6.4m, a further £21.95m of annual savings will be required by 2022/23. Should any of the current factors change, resulting in additional cost pressures or loss of further funding, then further savings will potentially be needed.