The leader of Surrey County Council (SCC) has said the level of government support the authority can expect in the next financial year means it can “just about” maintain services.
Councillor David Hodge said a 3.1% increase in SCC’s ‘spending power’ for 2015/16 – a combination of government funding and revenue the authority raises through council tax and charges – would see it scrape by.
But he argued the county made a big contribution to the Treasury and demanded it received a “fair amount” in future so it would not have to borrow huge sums and saddle taxpayers with years of debt.
A provisional finance settlement announced on Thursday (December 18) by the Department for Communities and Local Government revealed that councils in England face an average cut of 1.8% in spending power next year.
However, SCC looks set to receive £897.032m from the government and its own revenue streams, compared to £869.871m in 2014/15 – an increase of £27.161m or 3.1%.
This is a far cry from the worst-hit local authorities, which are bracing themselves for a 6.4% cut in spending power.