Surrey County Council have set out its 2022/23 budget, designed to tackle big challenges including mental health, climate change and social care, and make sure no one is left behind.
The budget sets out how the council will spend just over £1bn on day-to-day services that everyone in Surrey relies on, as well as a five-year investment programme in key infrastructure across the county.
Councillors ratified the plans at a Full Council meeting this morning [TUESDAY 8 FEB].
Presenting the budget, Council Leader Tim Oliver said: “This budget is all about responsible, strong leadership in the face of fundamental challenges, to deliver our collective ambitions for Surrey.
“No one left behind is the guiding principle for all that this council does – helping those that need us most and improving quality of life for everyone in Surrey.
“This is particularly pertinent in the context of our budget.
“Every single penny of Council Tax – every single penny we spend – is spent to make Surrey a better place.
“We’re a strong, ambitious, responsible organisation with great people here always ready to tackle the next big challenge.
“While we will lobby government for what we feel is fair and necessary for Surrey, we will look to the future, prepare properly, and crack on delivering for our residents.”
Surrey has 1.2m residents and the county council is responsible for the various needs of all of them including adults and children with disabilities and Special Educational Needs, looking after elderly residents who need support, and vulnerable children and families through social care.
These are the most expensive public services as often specific and tailored care and support are required for each person, sometimes with very complex needs.
The county council is also responsible for Surrey-wide services such as roads and pavements, public transport, countryside management, schools, recycling centres, libraries, birth, death & marriage registration, public health, and trading standards, as well as major infrastructure projects like flood defence and new road building.
Surrey Fire & Rescue Service is also the responsibility of the county council, and paid for through Council Tax.
The budget sees a Council Tax rise of 4.99%, which is made up of:
- 0.99% increase to fund the increased cost of delivering services
- 3% increase to fund additional spend in adult and children’s social care
- 1% increase to fund additional investment in mental health
Addressing the rise in Council Tax, Cllr Oliver said: “We must be responsible with our budget, and with our services, and stay true to our ambition that no one is left behind.
“We recognise that household budgets are feeling the squeeze just like ours – that any further increase for many people is unpalatable – but we’re deciding to tackle the root causes of hardship and inequality, instead of just applying a sticking plaster.
“For those that need financial help now, who are facing crisis point, we will actively support them.”