Date Published: 21 February 2017
Rutland County Council’s budget for the coming financial year was approved by Elected Members at a special Full Council meeting last night (Monday 20th February).
Councillors voted unanimously to support an overall council budget of £34.19m to deliver services across Rutland during 2017/18 – up from £33.99m the previous year. The decision was also taken to increase Council Tax by 3.99%, including a 2% precept solely to help fund social care services.
“The current financial climate represents a big challenge for local authorities. Like most councils, Rutland must find a way to do more with less. Our funding from central government is being reduced year on year while demand for local services and the cost of paying for these services continues to rise. Having saved around £8.5million since 2010 we are already one of the lowest spending councils anywhere in the country and have worked hard find a further £800k savings for the coming financial year without cutting back on frontline services. Unfortunately, this approach is not sustainable in the long term. Even with the help of savings and embracing the flexibility given to us by government to increase Council Tax, the gap between what we have and what we need to spend on local services will be around £2million by 2019/20. We will carry on working to reduce this deficit by focusing resources where they’re needed most and ensuring value for money but further reductions in spending, either through savings or by generating more income, will be needed in future.”
Councillor Tony Mathias, Council Leader
Council Tax rates will increase by 3.99% from April 2017, which equates to an additional 1.14p per week on the average Band D property. Included within the increase is a 2% precept specifically to fund social care services – services that help people with needs arising from illness, disability, old age or hardship.
“The growing demand facing adult social care services and the impact this is having on NHS providers has been widely publicised in recent months. This is a national problem but Rutland has been working extremely hard to find local solutions, with considerable success. Our results for getting people out of hospital and into social care are among the best in the UK but our growing elderly population will put even more strain on resources in the very near future. So that we can cope with this increased demand and continue to provide the best possible care for those who need it, 2% of this year’s 3.99% Council Tax increase will be used exclusively to fund social care services.”
Councillor Tony Mathias
The key points to note in the 2017/18 budget are:
- Funding resources available to the Council are £33.730m compared to £34.121m last year, with Revenue Support Grant (RSG) reduced from £2.353m to £889k
- Of the funding available, only £10.3m is from government funding (this includes business rates)
- The available funding of £33.7m assumes that Council increases Council Tax by 3.99% (including 2% for the social care precept)
- The Council is using £19k from its General Fund and £270k from earmarked reserves to balance its budget
- The net cost of services is £34.191m, slightly higher than the 16/17 approved budget of £33.993m
- The 17/18 budget includes a pay award of 1%
- The 17/18 budget includes a contingency of £250k to meet in-year social care pressures if needed
- Net capital financing costs are £1.903m
- The budget includes £807k of new service pressures and other one off expenditure of £330k funded from reserves or new grants
- The budget includes £817k of new savings and savings planned from previous years of £770k
Before Monday’s Full Council meeting, the budget was subject to public consultation and has been considered by Cabinet and Scrutiny.
You can read our full budget report for 2017/18, including details of the Council's medium-term financial plans, on the Council Meetings page for 20th February 2017.