Date Published: 22 January 2020
Rutland County Council is consulting on its draft budget for 2020/21, which proposes a Council Tax increase of £1.30 per week to protect services like care for vulnerable adults, children and young people.
The Council publishes a draft budget at the start of every year, explaining how much money is needed to run local services in Rutland and, importantly, where this funding will come from.
Having had confirmation that Rutland will receive just £380,000 of extra funding from the UK government this year, compared to a £2.9million increase in overall costs, the Council needs to spend £38.9million over the next 12 months in order to maintain local services for residents. This is the total yearly cost of everything from road maintenance and bin collections to library services, fostering and adoption, bus travel, school transport and care for older people.
“Like all Councils and a great many households, we expect our costs to go up this year, meaning it’s getting more expensive to run local services. This isn’t because of anything we’ve changed or plan to do differently. We’re having to find an extra £1.3million this year just because of inflation, plus an extra £1.6million because more people than ever before are coming to us for help. We’ve seen an increase in the number of older people in residential care, as well as an increase in mental health cases, locally. There’s been a rise in number of children needing foster care in Rutland, while we’re also having to increase our support for children with special educational needs and disabilities. These are what we consider to be some of our most important services and, if approved, half of our entire budget for next year will be spent on adults and children’s social care – that’s just under £19million.”
Councillor Gordon Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance
To help cope with unprecedented demand and the rising cost of running local services, Rutland’s draft budget for 2020/21 proposes a Council Tax increase of 1.99%, with a further 2% precept specifically to help fund the 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 in Rutland, the total Council Tax charge, including Adult Social Care Precept, would be £1,773 for the year (Rutland County Council only). This would be an increase of £68 compared to last year – £1.30 per week or 33p a week for anyone in financial hardship.
“Councils like ours have two main sources of funding – money from the government and money from Council Tax. As you might expect, if we get more money from the government then we need less Council Tax to help pay for roads, schools, recycling, care for vulnerable people, and lots of other important services. Despite what you may have heard about government giving lots more money to local councils, Rutland’s government funding for 2020 is £135 less per person when compared to other councils with our same responsibilities. To put this in context, if Rutland got average funding from government we would have an extra £5million to put towards your local services. This isn’t just disappointing – it’s unfair and we’re lobbying government hard on your behalf to get fairer funding for Rutland. If approved, an increase in Council Tax would allow us to carry on protecting key services. As a council, we’ve made savings of almost £12million since 2011 by changing the way we work, being more efficient, reducing staff costs and making better use of technology. We’ve worked hard find a further £500,000 of savings for the year ahead – again, without making any cuts to frontline services. If we don’t get more money from government soon we will have some very difficult decisions to make. If we have to spend less in future we will need to know from residents which services they would want to see reduced.”
Councillor Gordon Brown
Rutland County Council’s draft proposals were approved for public consultation by Cabinet on Tuesday 21 January. Rutland residents are now being asked to give their feedback on the plans, which will also be reviewed by the Council’s three scrutiny panels.
Consultation feedback will inform the development of a final budget, which will be presented to Cabinet on 18 February, then Full Council on 24 February 2020.
Consultation on Rutland County Council’s latest draft budget runs until 7 February 2020.
Details about the draft budget and how to take part in our budget consultation can be found in local libraries and on our Annual Budget page.