Faced with continuing demand on its two core services (Adult Social Care and Children’s services, which together account for 70% of it spend) combined with a reduction in funding from Central Government, the County Council is faced with the hard decision to focus on further reductions in the way it delivers services.
The Council therefore will be facilitating a programme of engagement and consultation on potential changes to services in five areas:
To illustrate some of the pressures facing the County Council, the number of residents who need support continues to rise each year. For example:
Spending on services and staff have reduced by over £500m(since 2010) while faced with reductions in government grants of £200m over the same period has led the County Council to rely on Council tax receipts which alone cannot cover the ever-increasing rise in demand in statutory services.
Unlike Central Government, Local authorities are required by law to have a balanced budget. Given the reduction in funding and the growth in the core service demands, reluctantly leads to the conclusion that other ‘non-protected’ services will need to be re-examined to ensure that a balanced budget can be achieved.
The Surrey County Council website has a link to all the consultations www.Surreycc.gov.uk/consultations and where more detail that supports the principles behind the potential changes are set out.