Keith Witham Update: Surrey County Council Proposed budget for 2020/21

29/01/2020

A lot of the time I spend at County Hall on your behalf is making sure that the priorities of residents I represent make their way into the Councils budget.
So if you have ever contacted me about any local issue, in some small way, you have helped me contribute to the formation of this progressive budget so thank you.
It is necessary to first understand that there are two types of local authority budgets - "Revenue" (recurring annual expenditure, mainly financed by Council Tax) and "Capital" (for one off expenditure or projects, financed by the sale of assets (property) and borrowing.
Revenue. Although final decisions will not be taken until next month, it is likely that Council Tax will increase by 4% - being 2% for all services except Social Care, plus an additional 2% reserved specifically for use in Adult Social Care, which accounts for a large part of the total costs.
The other type of budget is Capital, for one off expenditure or projects. This is being entirely overhauled for the next five years providing over £500 million (over 5 years) aimed at a wide range of projects:

  • £92m extra to improve the condition of our roads and pavements;
  • £237m for the River Thames Flood Alleviation Scheme* (including £33million for other localised flood prevention schemes);
  • £100m for a new Community Investment Fund to help regenerate high streets and similar schemes;
  • £7.3m for 725 new extra care home places for older people;
  • £31m for extra Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) school places;
  • £70m for new school places;
  • £84m for green projects inc solar farms, electric charging points and electric transport;
  • £3m for improvements to the Countryside Rights of Way network

*the £234m contribution to flood prevention from SCC is over 10 years as a part of the overall 10 year flooding alleviation plan of over £600 million being supported by the Government.
I will keep Residents informed as each of these progresses.
The Revenue budget. A Brief Summary of what SCC does - through its annual budget of approx £1 billion, paid for by Council Tax and a share of business rates.

Adult Social Care - Support for older people and adults with physical disabilities, mental health support needs and learning disabilities; Children's Social Care - Child protection and care for vulnerable children; Early years and education support - this is additional to the education funding set by government and pays for things like early help for families, school transport and additional school places: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities services and school support; Highways and transport - Road and pavement maintenance and improvement, streetlights, gritting, bus services and road safety: Waste disposal - Disposing of waste and running 15 Community Recycling Centres; Community Protection - Surrey Fire and Rescue, Trading Standards and Emergency Planning; Cultural Services - Libraries, Registrars, Surrey History Centre, Surrey Arts and Adult Learning; Environment and planning - Looking after the countryside and strategic planning policies; Public Health
Full more detailed information see: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/finance-and-performance/surrey-county-council-budget-202021