Published Monday, 1st February 2021
Sutton Council’s budget for 2021/22 sets out how it will invest £150 million to protect services and support Sutton’s growth at this critical time.
The budget will enable the Council to deliver over 800 services and includes:
£107 million to protect and care for vulnerable adults and children.
£33 million to tackle the climate emergency, improve town centres, collect waste, maintain roads and build much-needed new council housing.
£7 million to enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of residents of all ages and maintain facilities such as libraries, leisure centres and heritage sites.
The Council will deliver ambitious growth projects such as the London Cancer Hub and regeneration of the borough’s high streets and district centres. These projects will create jobs and ensure that Sutton remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.
The 2021/22 budget recognises the increased demand for Council services created by the coronavirus pandemic and its ongoing impact on the health and prosperity of residents and businesses. More than 70% of the Council’s budget is spent on supporting the most vulnerable adults and children in Sutton, and the level of need will be significantly higher following COVID-19.
The Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton, issued an Audit Findings report in January following their review of the 2019/20 financial statements. They concluded that the Council has “proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources”. It also noted the Council has a “good history of delivering savings” - it has delivered savings in the annual budget every year since 2010, reaching a total of £96.4 million by 2020, with a further £5.6 million planned to be saved in 2021/22.
Through these savings and service improvements, the Council has managed to offset some of the rising costs of providing care to more and more residents. To continue to protect vital services and support Sutton’s recovery, the Council is proposing to increase council tax by 1.5% and to use the adult social care precept of 3% as proposed by central government to ensure that services to the elderly and vulnerable are maintained.
This means the average Sutton household (Band D) will pay an extra 41p a week in core council tax and an extra 82p a week for adult social care. This increase - which amounts to £1.23 for the average household - will benefit residents of all ages: it will protect older people, keep the streets clean and maintain parks, libraries and children's playgrounds.
Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:
“From setting up the food hub to supporting local businesses, Council staff have helped our community to deal with the health and economic challenges created by this terrible pandemic, while continuing to deliver vital services.
“I really wish that the government had delivered on their long-promised reform of adult social care, especially during this terrible pandemic. We shouldn't have to raise an additional government tax to look after our most vulnerable - but we have been given no alternative.
“I can assure you that over the next 12 months, your council tax will enable us to continue to deliver the services so many people rely on while supporting Sutton’s recovery.
“Thank you for helping us to protect those needing our care, while bringing new jobs, homes and improvements to our borough.”
The Council’s budget proposals will be presented to the Strategy and Resources Committee on Monday 8 February. The meeting will be livestreamed and can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/SR-Committee.