The Budget for Suffolk
We have a statutory responsibility to set a balanced budget. You can read our budget through the link below. You can also find out more about the budget setting process and what plans we have to help us deliver budget savings.
Agreeing the budget
Elected members approve all budgets of the authority and monitor expenditure and income throughout the year.
The County Council scrutiny committee independently monitors how we go about our business and the decisions we make.
Budget setting is conducted through a process of consultation and open meetings. Every year in the Autumn, the cabinet considers budgets for their particular area of responsibility and recommends appropriate capital and revenue budgets to Full Council. Papers and minutes from the full council and council committees can be found on the Suffolk Committee Minutes website.
The Full Council then meets to approve the budget in February.
Funding the Budget
The funding for the budget comes from a number of sources including council tax, government grants as well as specific grants, fees and charges.
Central government's continued focus on reducing the deficit has meant a reduction in local government funding over the past few years.
The Government’s plan is that in future business rates and council tax will be the key sources of finance for local budgets. It will therefore be essential for Suffolk to generate housing growth to increase the council tax-base, and to increase the size of the local economy and hence the business rate tax-base.
Suffolk has been chosen to be part of the Business Rates Retention Pilot for 2018-19 and this will enable the County, Borough and District Councils to be at the forefront of working with Central Government in shaping this change.
The County Council has frozen its share of general council tax since 2010 and has made savings of more than £236m in the amount that it spends on delivering essential public services. Unfortunately, in 2018-19 it has been necessary to increase the level of general council tax by 2.99% in order to reach a balanced budget.
Where the budget is spent
Suffolk County Council spends just under £500 million a year, over 60% of which is used to provide care for elderly people, children in need and education and skills for the next generation. That money also goes on repairing our roads, protecting us from fire and rogue traders and supporting people to live healthier lives. Additional money is invested in delivering major infrastructure projects like improving Suffolk’s access to high speed broadband, building new roads, and creating new river crossings in Lowestoft and Ipswich.
We set detailed financial targets for all of our services and we monitor spend against those targets throughout the year.
We are also re-designing the way that we deliver services through a series of transformation programmes. These programmes are not just about the delivery of savings. They are intended to focus action on how the Council’s services can be delivered differently in order to provide better outcomes for individuals and the community at lower cost.