Date Published: 01 March 2022
Rutland County Council’s budget for the coming financial year was approved by Elected Members at a special Full Council Meeting last night (Monday 28 February).
Out of the 23 councillors present at the meeting, 20 voted to approve an overall budget of £42.3million for 2022/23 municipal year. Three voted against. The budget covers the total annual cost of funding local services in Rutland, including road maintenance, bin collections, library services, fostering and adoption, school transport and care for adults and children.
In response to the impact of inflation, the rising costs of suppliers and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Councillors also voted to increase Council Tax rates by 1.99%, with an additional 3% precept to help pay for adult social care services.
“We’ve spoken in previous years about the huge financial pressure on local councils and how this affects our budget here in Rutland. This year has been even harder due to the knock-on effects of COVID and the fact that most of the savings we identified last year have been wiped out by rising costs. Councillors have taken the difficult decision to increase Council Tax by a total of 4.99% to maintain Rutland’s key services, but also agreed to give a further £100 discount to those on the lowest incomes. It’s now incumbent upon the authority to press ahead and deliver these services while remaining fiscally responsible and making sure we continue to provide value for money.” Saverio Della Rocca, Strategic Director for Resources at Rutland County Council
Despite making around £2million of savings during 2021/22 and applying the maximum increase in Council Tax (as assumed in the government’s national funding model for local councils), Rutland County Council has been forced to use £6k of reserves to balance its budget for the coming year. Due to ongoing financial pressures, the Council is predicting a budget deficit of £2.2million next year (2023/24). As a result, the Council must aim to make further savings over the next 12 months to balance its books.
Changes to Council Tax approved as part of the annual budget will take effect from 1 April 2022. For an average Band D property in Rutland, the total Council Tax charge, including Adult Social Care Precept, will be £1,917.36 for the year (Rutland County Council only). This represents an increase of £1.75 per week, or 43p a week for anyone receiving benefits. This approach was supported by the majority of people who responded to the Council’s budget consultation, who said they would prefer the Council go with the maximum Council Tax increases of 5% in 2022/23 and 3% thereafter to balance its budget.
Details of Rutland County Council’s Budget for 2022/23, together with a link to the budget report presented at Full Council on Monday 28 February, can be read at: www.rutland.gov.uk/budget.