Date Published: 04 January 2019
A proposed draft budget for the 2019/20 financial year is to be considered by Rutland County Council’s Cabinet on 15th January 2019.
Publication of the draft budget follows receipt of notification of the Government’s funding for 2019/20. Although £300k more than was received by Rutland last year, this funding is a reduction in real terms.
The £36.4million revenue budget for 2019/20, which is used to run day-to-day services alongside the Council’s capital budget, seeks to continue to protect local services despite ongoing pressures on Council resources and a limited increase in Government funding.
Rutland’s draft budget for 2019/20 proposes a Council Tax increase of 2.99%, with a further 2% precept specifically to help fund the growing cost of adult social care – services that help people to maintain their health and independence in later life and which support adults with disabilities and mental health needs.
For an average Band D property, the total Council Tax charge including Adult Social Care Precept would be £1,705 for the year. This represents an increase of £81 on last year (£1.56p per week or 39p a week for those in financial hardship).
There are no planned cuts to Council services within the 2019/20 draft budget. The small increase in Government funding coupled with additional income generated through Council Tax has enabled the Council to successfully balance its budget, meaning only £55k of reserves are planned to be used in the coming financial year.
Although Government has provided an additional £300k, Rutland still receives less core funding per person - £117 compared to other unitary councils that receive £234.
The extra £300k is not enough to keep pace with inflation, which equates to £1.2m, and additional pressures of over £1m, many of which are outside the Council’s control. For example, the Council now pays an extra £185k for recycling and waste due to changes in world market conditions.
Key points from the proposed budget include:
- Investing £800k in the maintenance and upkeep of the county’s roads
- Introducing 30 minutes of free car parking in Oakham and Uppingham to support the local economy
- Keeping Rutland's Green Waste charge at the same level as 2018/19
- Maintaining and subsidising the RF1 bus route
- Paying more towards the increasing cost of care for vulnerable adults – almost half (£17million) of the Council’s budget is spent on adult and children’s social care
Since 2011/12, Rutland County Council has achieved savings of more than £11million through making changes to working practices to increase efficiency, reducing staff costs and making better use of technology.
“While the Council has worked hard to balance its budget, the future still looks uncertain and challenging. We await the Government to complete its review of local authority funding but are not optimistic that we will be much better off. If we aren’t then we will have to take a much harder look at our budget and difficult choices may have to be made.”
Councillor Gordon Brown, Portfolio Holder for Finance
The draft proposals will be presented to Rutland County Council’s Cabinet on 15th January 2019. If approved, Rutland residents will be asked to provide thoughts and feedback on the draft budget throughout January. Rutland County Council’s three scrutiny panels will also provide views.
Consultation feedback will inform the development of a revised final budget, which will be presented to Cabinet on 19th February, then Rutland County Council’s Full Council on 25th February 2019.
The proposed draft budget and papers for the Cabinet meeting on 15th January 2019 can be viewed on our Meetings page.