Published Friday, 31st January 2020
Council sets out ambitious budget for 2020/21
We are ambitious for Sutton. Our budget for next year sets out how we will invest £148million in the services that matter most to residents, including:
£105million protecting and caring for vulnerable adults and children
£32million collecting our waste, repaving and maintaining our roads, building much needed new council housing and improving our town centres and open spaces
£950,000 providing mental health support, helping children get a healthy start in life and more
This year we are also investing £82million in new affordable housing, improving our towns and district centres, highways, shopping spaces, the London Cancer Hub and new and expanded schools.
Residents need our help more than ever before
Almost two-thirds of our budget cares for and protects vulnerable children and adults. The number of people who need these services increases every year. Because of this the cost of providing them increases too.
Our proposed budget addresses the financial challenges we face, including:
The rising costs of adult social care as people live longer and have more complex needs. This year alone we need to budget for an almost £1million increase due to our aging population. We are predicting a 16% increase in the hours of adult social care we provide in 2020/21, but this could be much higher.
A 69% increase in the number of children we support through Education Health and Care (EHC) plans since 2014
The extra £13million of savings we need to make by 2022/23 (according to our latest estimates).
We face uncertainty at a national level
We also face greater uncertainty, with our limited central Government funding only guaranteed for one year and whatever may be in store as we exit the European Union.
Ensuring Sutton remains a great place to live, work and raise a family
Our investments in commercial property will continue to deliver savings and create income for years to come. They will also provide the opportunity to regenerate parts of Sutton High Street. Our existing property investments already provide an annual income of more than £1.6million that is reinvested to support our other services.
Our 2020/21 budget identifies £6million of savings delivered by working smarter rather than cuts to services.
Despite all we are already doing, to meet these challenges while delivering our ambitions, we are proposing to increase council tax by 1.99%. We are also using the Government’s adult social care tax to introduce a further 2% increase, ring fenced for adult social care.
Increasing council tax and using the Government’s adult social care tax will raise an extra £4million. A Band D household will pay £1.05 a week more.
Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:
“Improving Sutton High Street, our local neighbourhoods and open spaces, building new energy-efficient council homes, creating The London Cancer Hub, and being shortlisted for London Borough of Culture 2023: these are just a few of the pioneering projects we’re delivering while continuing to do everything else you expect of your local council.
“The decision to increase council tax and use the Government’s adult social care tax isn’t one we’ve made lightly. Without proper funding from central Government it is the only way we can raise the money we need to look after people in Sutton when they need us.
“Your council tax protects the most vulnerable, while helping us deliver our ambitious projects to bring new jobs, homes and improvements to Sutton. I want to say a huge thank you for helping us ensure Sutton remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.”