Council tax

Find out how to pay Council Tax, and read Suffolk County Council's saving and spending plans for 2017-2018.

How Council Tax works

You need to pay Council Tax in you live in or own a property. 

If you live in Suffolk, you must pay Council Tax to your local District or Borough Council.  

Your Council Tax is shared between your local District or Borough Council, the Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk County Council, and used to provide public services.

How to pay council tax

You can find out how to pay your Council Tax by visiting your local council's website:

You can find your local council on GOV.UK.

Find out how the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner spends Council Tax.

Where we spend the money

Suffolk County Council's budget for 2017-18 is £904 million. The budget for 2016-17 was £934 million.

Expenditure varies between financial years because of the impact of funding reductions, increased demand for services and changing responsibilities.

Department2017-18 2016-17 
Adult and Community Services £284.9 million £287.4 million 
Children and Young People £404.7 million  £437 million 
Public Health and Protection £58.1 million  £60.4 million 
Resource Management £121.8 million  £118.9 million 
Corporate Resources and Capital Financing £34.7 million  £30.6 million 

Capital projects

We also plan to spend £97.7 million on capital projects, including:

  • building new schools, extensions and improvements to existing schools, totalling £22.5 million
  • continuing to invest in the county’s road network, totalling £32.8 million
  • the Suffolk Better Broadband programme, which will provide 98% of premises in Suffolk with access to super fast broadband speeds

How we will make savings

Suffolk County Council's grant from government has reduced by £27.2 million.

This has meant savings of £31.3 million have been identified to compensate for this loss of grant and to provide extra money for some unavoidable cost pressures such as inflation and extra demand for adult and children’s care services.

These savings will be delivered across a number of services as the Council continues to make good progress with transformation programmes and identifies ways in which services can be managed in an efficient and effective way.

ProjectManaged bySavings
Commission personalised services and information to reduce service demands and support people within their own homes. Adult and Community Services through the ‘Supporting Lives and Connecting Communities’ programme £6 million
Recommission Housing Related Support Services, ensuring the location of services matches service demand. Adult and Community Services £1.4 million
Reduce the costs of delivering the fostering service by increasing the number of Suffolk foster carers rather than needing to place children in more expensive agency fostering placements. Children and Young People through the ‘Making Every Intervention Count’ programme £1.4 million
Reshape transport services to provide a more efficient way for people to move around the county that makes sense to them. Children and Young People and Resource Management through the ‘Travel’ programme £1.35 million
Implement the final stages of the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service £1 million
Make further savings from corporate and service support areas in response to the changing shape of the organisation. Resource Management through the ‘Support Services’ programme £3.5 million
Adopt a more commercial approach and reducing the cost of contracts across the council and specifically in waste and highways services. Resource Management £8.1 million
Receive the impact of lower interest rates and removing the corporate contingency budget   £3.5 million
Make further savings from reducing the size of the workforce across all areas of the council   £2.2 million

Where the money comes from

Our budget for 2017-18 is £904 million. The budget for 2016-17 was £934 million.

Category2017-18 (£)2017-18 (%)2016-17 (£)2016-17 (%)
Fees & Charges £101.1 million 11.2% £97.7 million  10.5% 
Revenue Support Grant £45.2 million 5.0% £68.2 million  7.3% 
Business Rates (including top up grant) £97.9 million 10.8% £94 million 10.1% 
Dedicated Schools Grant £256.4 million 28.4% £285.5 million  30.6% 
Reserves £13.2 million  1.5%  £5.9 million  0.6% 
Council Tax £279.3 million  30.9%  £277.6 million  29.7% 
Social Care precept £13.9 million 1.5%  £5.4 million  0.6% 
Government Grants £97.1 million  10.7%  £99.9 million  10.7% 

Message from the Leader of Suffolk County Council

Colin Noble

Over the last year we have continued our transition into a much leaner organisation, having now saved more than £200 million since 2010. We have done this whilst continuing to prioritise the needs of our most vulnerable residents and ensuring everyone has access to the services they rely on.

I understand the pressures household budgets are under so I am committed to freezing the county council’s element of council tax bills for the seventh year running. It’s possible to do this because of the sound financial management we have in place.

We will continue to face financial challenges in the years ahead and with that comes difficult decisions; not ones we want to take, but have to take.

For the coming year, we have committed a sensible proportion of reserves to mitigate reduced government funding and meet the increased demand for services, but this cannot be a long-term solution.

The Government has told councils that they can raise additional funds through the national adult social care precept and we have taken the decision to do that. This will raise £8.5 million of extra funding in 2017/18 and will help us meet the financial challenges currently facing the care sector.

It’s important to realise however, that even with the precept, our funding will be less than in previous years due to reduced government grants.

Despite all that has been thrown at us, there is much to be proud of; our children’s services have been rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted, which is a fantastic result, 89% (January 2017) of schools in the county are rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and we continue to improve at a faster rate than across the rest of the country. We know that isn’t ‘job done’ and we continue to work hard to make sure all children and young people can achieve their full potential.

We have also secured £150 million of Government funding to deliver the much needed Upper Orwell Crossings in Ipswich and Lake Lothing Third Crossing in Lowestoft, and invested an additional £10 million in maintaining the county’s road network.

It’s important to me to hear first-hand the issues affecting residents, so throughout the year I have visited towns across Suffolk, to listen to the things that affect you. As part of many interesting discussions residents have told me that they think our delivery of vital public services is good. I want to ensure that we continue to deliver these.

Thank you to everyone I have spoken with – I have found your feedback to be invaluable. I look forward to being out and about again in the year ahead to make sure decisions that are taken are informed by the residents of this great county.