Share your thoughts on prioritising future County Council services

Public consultation launched to find out where people place their priorities and how they feel about the way in which the council funds its services.

Following the Chancellor’s recent Spending Review and Autumn Budget, Suffolk County Council will have the option to raise Council Tax by 2% and the Adult Social Care Precept by 2%.

With local authorities continuing to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain issues and climate change, Suffolk County Council is asking residents for their thoughts on helping the council prioritise its funding towards services in the coming financial year alongside meeting the continuing costs of statutory care services.

Although the last two years have proved to be an extraordinary time, the county council continues to aim to provide the best possible outcomes for local people through a multitude of frontline services that support residents, businesses and the county at large.

With rising costs and increasing service demand year on year, the finances at our disposal have to be carefully planned and considered for us to continue to achieve a balanced budget each year in extremely challenging circumstances.

Councillor Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Finance and Environment:

"Local public services continue to face many financial challenges as we look to recover from Covid, address rising energy costs and invest our limited resources and money in the priority areas of service to protect our most vulnerable residents.

"As part of the annual budgeting process, it is important to hear your thoughts on the services we deliver, to understand which ones you believe should be prioritised, and how we may look to fund future spending in these areas.

"Did you know that around 75p of every £1 Suffolk County Council spends goes towards supporting those who need it most through Adult Care, Children’s Services, and Public Health?

"The remaining 25p in every £1 is then used to cover the cost of the many other vital services we provide, including Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, road maintenance, footpaths, waste services, libraries and addressing the challenges surrounding climate change, to name just a handful. Year on year we are seeing particular challenges in continuing to provide adult care and children’s services within budget. Adult care alone costs around £271m each year.

"We are absolutely committed to providing the best services for all residents, but like all councils we do not have unlimited funds. This means that if residents want us to spend more money on certain services, we have to spend less in other areas in order to continue to balance our budget now and in the future.

"I want to understand more about the areas you want us to focus on with the budget that we have left over after covering our statutory care duties. Whilst this may be limited, we continue to use every penny wisely to bring many benefits to Suffolk. As part of this engagement, we want to find out where people place their priorities and how they feel about the way in which we fund these services.

"Thank you for your participation in this important aspect of planning our annual budget."

The full consultation

How the council will use its budgeted gross expenditure of £1,026.5 million in 2021-22,
spread across its seven directorates areas

Children and Young People including maintained schools

£429.8 million (41.9%)

Adult and Community Services

£346.3 million (33.7%)

Growth, Highways and Infrastructure

£72.4 million (7.1%)

Central Resources and Capital Financing

£61.3 million (6%)

Corporate Services

£46.6 million (4.5%)

Public Health

£40.4 million (3.9%)

Fire and Public Safety

£29.7m (2.9%)

What we spend pie chart (PDF, 12KB)

Summary of where the council get its funding

Council Tax

£313.6 million (30.6%)

Dedicated School Grant

£266 million (25.9%)

Government Grants

£146.7 million (14.3%)

Business Rates

£112.6 million (11%)

External Income

£110.6 million (10.8%)

Social Care Precept

£36.7 million (3.6%)

Use of Reserves *

£23.7 million (2.2%)

Revenue Support Grant (RSG)

£16.6 million (1.6%)

* Use of reserves includes £16.7 million from unallocated reserves.

Where the money comes from pie chart (PDF, 12KB)

Our careful approach to financial management over previous years has ensured we are in a strong enough position to invest some £113 million in assets and planned infrastructure projects during 2021-22.

This work is known as the Council’s Capital Programme and is over and above the £1,026.5 million budget used for day-to-day service expenditure.

The Council’s Capital Programme includes:

  • £15.3 million to create additional places in schools across the county and £4.8 million to provide new provision for young people with Special Educational Needs
  • £41.5 million on maintaining and improving Suffolk’s existing infrastructure including roads and buildings
  • £26.3 million for development of the new Gull Wing bridge in Lowestoft
  • £2.6 million to replace and upgrade Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service equipment and vehicles to enable to service to respond safely and effectively to a wide range of incidents
  • £4 million investment in Information Technology assets and services for the council, including a new wide area network, to help the connectivity and closer working relationships between public sector organisations
  • £2.3 million to develop council owned land for future housing and employment opportunities

You're invited to give feedback on this consultation from Friday 19 November 2021 to 20 December 2021.

You can complete the consultation here

Full document

Please note, this document is taken from our Business Plan 2021-2022 and is for context. This was published in February 2021 and does not take into account announcements made in the Chancellor's Autumn 2021 Budget and Spending Review.

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