Date Published: 26 February 2019
Rutland County Council will spend more than £17.5million to provide care for vulnerable adults and children over the next year, almost half its total expenditure, after councillors voted to approve the authority’s latest budget.
Full Council met last night [Monday 25 February 2019] to discuss Rutland’s proposed budget for 2019/20.
Councillors voted unanimously to approve the budget of £36.4million, which will be used to maintain roads, provide local transport, house vulnerable people and deliver social care for adults and children.
A total of £12.14million will go towards services that help people maintain their health and independence in later life, and which support adults with disabilities and mental health needs.
Around £5.5million will pay for services to support and protect vulnerable children, young people, their families and young carers, with more money being spent or early intervention to assist individuals to stay in their own homes for longer.
The budget includes a Council Tax increase of 2.99%, with a further 2% precept just to fund the rising cost of adult social care.
“I know that no one in the Council Chamber last night wanted to increase Council Tax. Unfortunately, we have been left with no choice because of the way that government has reduced our funding in recent years. National funding for local councils has been reduced by almost £4billion since 2015. This means Rutland County Council has lost nearly £3million funding in just four years – money that is needed to meet the growing demand for care and support among adults and children. We are being forced to choose between raising Council Tax to protect vital frontline services or making cutbacks that will affect families. Given this choice, 97 per cent of all local councils have taken the difficult decision to increase their rates this year. Many of these Councils will cut services at the same time, to try and make ends meet. This is not the case in Rutland, where we have avoided cuts by making savings in other areas and learning to do more with less. In addition, we will be investing capital in new facilities to support individuals with special educational needs and reduce the need for them to travel outside the County.”
Gordon Brown, Cabinet Member for Finance
Rutland County Council has seen a small increase in government funding this year (£300k) but not enough to keep pace with inflation, which will increase the Council’s costs by more than £1.2million in 2019/20.
“The money that councils receive from government is not being shared equally or fairly – something that we are constantly lobbying to change. Rutland is forced to rely heavily on Council Tax contributions to fund local services because we receive around 50 per cent less government funding per person than the average council with our responsibilities. If we received average funding this would mean an extra £4.4million for Rutland – the equivalent of £300 Council Tax on a Band D property. We’ll continue to work hard to make every pound of taxpayers’ money count, while also fighting for fairer funding on behalf of everyone in Rutland.”
Councillor Gordon Brown
Details of our Budget for 2019/20, together with an in-depth report to Full Council, can be read on our Meetings page.