Residents are asked to share their views on the Draft Budget
Rutland residents are asked to share their views on the Draft Budget. A consultation has been launched by Rutland County Council on its latest draft budget.The draft budget contains spending plans and Council Tax proposals for the year 2021/2022.
At the beginning of every year the Council publishes its draft budget explaining how much money is required to finance local services and where it will come from.
Demand and spending on key services continue to rise. During this time Rutland County Council is continuing to operate whilst under financial pressure. Local Government Finance Settlement awarded to Council was less than it was in 2020/2021.
Government this year has given councils the power to raise Council Tax by 5%. 3% is for Social Care. In Spite of the financial pressure and reductions in funding RCC’s draft budget proposes an increase of 2.99 percent. This is the smallest increase during the past five years.
Cabinet Member for Finance-Cllr Gordon Brown “Rutland County Council is in an extremely difficult position. Government talk of increased spending power does not mean more money for councils. It simply means that councils have been given the ability to increase Council Tax even further, to make up for a lack of central government funding. This effectively passes the rising cost of local services on to residents. We feel this is unfair on people in Rutland, particularly when Council Tax is already high here because of the government’s historic approach to funding local councils. With the support of our MP, we are lobbying Government to increase the amount of Local Government Settlement given to Rutland, as well as the overall level of funding provided to council’s, nationally.”
Council’s draft budget for 2021/22 confirms that the Council needs to spend £41.5million 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.
Key spending areas within the 2021/22 draft budget include: £13.8million for adult social care services that help people with needs arising from illness, disability, old age or hardship. Services include day care, community care, residential care and adult protection £6.3million for Social Care services that support and protect vulnerable children, young people, their families and young carers. This includes fostering, adoption, residential care and support for children with disabilities £3.2million to pay for the collection of all household and commercial waste. This also includes recycling and disposal of waste, as well as the cost of running Rutland’s recycling centres £1.4million to maintain all roads, car parks, footpaths, bridges and street lighting in the County, together with the cost of winter gritting, traffic management and road safety £1.09million for public transport, including subsidising local buses and free travel for residents of pensionable age £2.05million to provide free school transport for children, as well as travel assistance for people with special educational needs and disabilities £1.8million for public protection and the environment, including street cleaning and grounds maintenance services, along with work linked to trading standards, licensing and crime and disorder
Rutland Council’s draft budget includes proposals for a Council Tax rise of 1.99%, plus an Adult Social Care Precept of 1% which would be used specifically to help fund adult social care services. If approved, the average increase in Council Tax for a Band D property in Rutland would be £1.02 per week.
“Residents need to understand that Rutland County is an efficient local authority. Compare us to other local councils and you will see that we deliver the same services at a lower cost, and often to a higher standard. The cost of delivering local services has increased this year because of inflation and soaring demand – particularly for social care. It is not the result of over-spending. In fact, we have saved almost £12.5million over the past eight years without cutting services. We think it’s unfair that government expects the rising cost of services to be passed on to residents. We don’t want to raise Council Tax by 5%, as the government expects, and have instead balanced our draft budget using a significant portion of our reserves. Unfortunately, this is not sustainable in the long term and we face some very difficult decisions if we do not get the funding we need from government very soon.” Councillor Gordon Brown
Rutland Residents are now invited to take part in a public consultation on the draft budget. The Council would like residents to review and give feedback on the draft budget. The consultation runs from Wednesday 13th January to Friday 29th January