'Front line services protected from cuts' says Rutland County Council
Rutland County Council says front line services will once again be protected from cuts if councillors back its draft budget for 2019/20 at a special meeting next week.
Full Council will meet on Monday February 25 to review Rutland’s latest draft budget after it was approved by Cabinet today.
The draft budget sets out how Rutland County Council plans to fund local services over the next year.
A public consultation asking for feedback on the proposals took place between January and February.
The council says maintaining the roads, running local transport, housing vulnerable people and caring for adults and children are all priorities in the budget.
The council also plans to save £1.5million over the next 12 months without making any cuts to front line services.
Rutland Council says it is spending more money to care for adults and children because the number of people who need support continues to go up.
If approved by Full Council on Monday, almost half of Rutland’s £36.4million budget for 2019/20 will be used to pay for adults and children’s social care.
Rutland’s draft budget includes a Council Tax increase of 2.99%, with a further 2% precept just to fund the rising cost of adult social care.
Councillor Gordon Brown, Cabinet Member for Finance at Rutland County Council, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who shared their views on our latest budget. Many of you wanted to know why we’re considering an increase to Council Tax and I would stress again that this is not something we want to do.
He continued: “All local councils, including ours, are struggling because we’re getting less and less money from the government to help pay for services. The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) have published a recent survey showing that 97% of councils plan to increase Council Tax in 2019-20, to help fund services. Even so, many councils will still need to cut services to save money, such is the financial pressure they are under. Almost a third of councils are expecting to reduce their activity across libraries, 22 per cent expect to reduce waste collection services and 38 per cent expect to reduce road maintenance. Some are even reducing services for vulnerable people, but not here in Rutland. We are working hard to save money without cuts, so that we can protect the services you need.”
Rutland’s draft budget for 2019/20 includes:
· £12.14million to care for adults
· £5.49million to care for children
· £2.48million to collect and process waste and recycling
· £1.02million for public transport
· £1.68million for school transport
£1.01million to maintain roads, car parks, footpaths and street lighting
Rutland says it relies more on Council Tax contributions to fund local services than other councils with the same responsibilities. This is because Rutland receives less government funding per person than the national average for unitary authorities.
Councillor Gordon Brown added: “It’s important to understand that not all councils are funded in the same way. Rutland gets £181 of government funding per person. This is £116 less than the average amount for a unitary authority, which is £297. If Rutland received £297 we would have an extra £4.4m to spend on local services.
“We are lobbying hard to make sure the government understands the difficult position we’re in, and to try and get fairer funding for Rutland. Looking ahead, there is even less certainty about how much money we will receive in future years. We are determined to do all we can to protect local services and must continue to prioritise services that care for vulnerable adults and children.”
Rutland’s next Full Council meeting takes place on Monday February 25, starting at 7pm. Details of Rutland’s Draft Budget for 2019/20, together with a full report and recommendations, can be read online at: www.rutland.gov.uk/meetings.