Council tax set to rise by 1.99 per cent in Surrey

This Is Local London: Councillor David Hodge Councillor David Hodge

Council tax is set to rise by 1.99 per cent next year, Surrey County Council (SCC) has announced.

Speaking of its council tax proposal for next year, David Hodge, leader of SCC, said there will be a 1.99 per cent increase to allow it to continue running key services while absorbing government funding cuts.

A council tax hike of at least 2 per cent would trigger a council tax referendum.

He said: "We’re proposing a 1.99 per cent increase even though we’ve said we need 2.5 per cent because any more means wasting up to £2m on a referendum and while it puts more pressure on services we’ll still be able to provide what residents expect with this increase.

"With the number of vulnerable adults we help increasing by 1,000 over the next three years at a cost of £25m and a leap in pupil numbers meaning we need to spend £327m on school places by 2019, the pressure on services from demographic changes is enormous.

"On top of these challenges, we have to cope with the impact of other costs that are also completely out of our control, such as the bill of up to £10m to fix our roads after the recent floods and the £5m we spent last year on repairing the damage caused by ice and snow."

A SCC spokesman said: "Despite making savings of £200m since 2010, all these have been wiped out by a dwindling government grant and increasing demand for services.

"The council has identified a further £200m of savings over the next four years but these pressures will remain."

The council’s cabinet will make a formal recommendation for the proposal next Tuesday, February 4, and a final decision will be taken at a full Surrey County Council meeting on February 11.

 

Comments (6)

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3:06pm Mon 27 Jan 14

EwellMan says...

Just shows you what a cretin this man is. 1.99%, lets face it 2% dont use stupid marketing to make it look like only a 1% increase.

So over the last 5 years council tax has increased over 10% whilst they have failed to even maintain services. Services in Epsom and Ewell are dire, from roads, to policing to over subscribed schools. I understand in hard times cutbacks are needed but how can you charge 10% more for a 30% worse service? Something is wrong.

The exta money has to be going somewhere so think we need a crimininal investigation.
Just shows you what a cretin this man is. 1.99%, lets face it 2% dont use stupid marketing to make it look like only a 1% increase. So over the last 5 years council tax has increased over 10% whilst they have failed to even maintain services. Services in Epsom and Ewell are dire, from roads, to policing to over subscribed schools. I understand in hard times cutbacks are needed but how can you charge 10% more for a 30% worse service? Something is wrong. The exta money has to be going somewhere so think we need a crimininal investigation. EwellMan

3:51pm Mon 27 Jan 14

sjsunny says...

I have not got an issue with an increase as long as I see value for money and an improvement, or at the very least, maintenance of a satisfactory level of service.

When the roads are 'repaired' it tends to be quick patch up jobs using low grade materials and the same pot holes, same issues re-occur time and time again. Do a good job, using quality materials and the repair will have some longevity, doing it on the cheap is false economy and a waste of tax payers money!
I have not got an issue with an increase as long as I see value for money and an improvement, or at the very least, maintenance of a satisfactory level of service. When the roads are 'repaired' it tends to be quick patch up jobs using low grade materials and the same pot holes, same issues re-occur time and time again. Do a good job, using quality materials and the repair will have some longevity, doing it on the cheap is false economy and a waste of tax payers money! sjsunny

4:22pm Mon 27 Jan 14

EwellMan says...

sjsunny wrote:
I have not got an issue with an increase as long as I see value for money and an improvement, or at the very least, maintenance of a satisfactory level of service.

When the roads are 'repaired' it tends to be quick patch up jobs using low grade materials and the same pot holes, same issues re-occur time and time again. Do a good job, using quality materials and the repair will have some longevity, doing it on the cheap is false economy and a waste of tax payers money!
Quite agree, i witnessed some guys the other day filling a pot hole. Not interested in fixing the other two which were no more than a meter away. I asked them why and they said they were only told to fix one and that location and thats what they are doing.

Utter waste of money, think of the saving fixing all three in both call back and also potential claim from car damage. Privatisation at its best, when you can get 3 callbacks to fix 3 holes you will make more money than fixing all 3 in one go.
[quote][p][bold]sjsunny[/bold] wrote: I have not got an issue with an increase as long as I see value for money and an improvement, or at the very least, maintenance of a satisfactory level of service. When the roads are 'repaired' it tends to be quick patch up jobs using low grade materials and the same pot holes, same issues re-occur time and time again. Do a good job, using quality materials and the repair will have some longevity, doing it on the cheap is false economy and a waste of tax payers money![/p][/quote]Quite agree, i witnessed some guys the other day filling a pot hole. Not interested in fixing the other two which were no more than a meter away. I asked them why and they said they were only told to fix one and that location and thats what they are doing. Utter waste of money, think of the saving fixing all three in both call back and also potential claim from car damage. Privatisation at its best, when you can get 3 callbacks to fix 3 holes you will make more money than fixing all 3 in one go. EwellMan

3:37pm Tue 28 Jan 14

niftynigel says...

Quite clearly, you didn't read what Cllr David Hodge had to say. Without spelling it out in detail, the cost of education and social care (quite often hidden costs to most people) are going up as there are more children and more elderly and dependents.
SCC's total budget is about £1.6 billion. The highways budget is just a fraction of that. Highways are what everyone see's so the shortfalls in funding are clear for all to see. There is a lot of high quality road surface reconstructions going on, but a long term fix for a road is very expensive. Surrey has over 3,000km of roads and to make them all to the high quality we all want would cost over £3 billion, forgetting the road closures that would be needed whilst the resurfacing is going on (which people also complain about).
Quite clearly, you didn't read what Cllr David Hodge had to say. Without spelling it out in detail, the cost of education and social care (quite often hidden costs to most people) are going up as there are more children and more elderly and dependents. SCC's total budget is about £1.6 billion. The highways budget is just a fraction of that. Highways are what everyone see's so the shortfalls in funding are clear for all to see. There is a lot of high quality road surface reconstructions going on, but a long term fix for a road is very expensive. Surrey has over 3,000km of roads and to make them all to the high quality we all want would cost over £3 billion, forgetting the road closures that would be needed whilst the resurfacing is going on (which people also complain about). niftynigel

12:09pm Wed 29 Jan 14

EwellMan says...

Lets take an example,1 normal road in Ewell that contains 160 semi detatched houses, likely to be BAND D so £1580 a Year broken down to approx this a month:

Surrey County Council - £1195
Surrey Police - £212
Epsom and Ewell Council - £173

So in this one small road in Ewell they tax they receive is:

Surrey County council - £191k
Surrey Police - £34k
Epsom and Ewell Council - £28k

250k is a shed load of money for poor services especially when you concider this to be only 1 small road in Surrey, do we really get value for money?

He can blame it what he wants but the end of the day blaming on schools and elderly who is really to blame? Who allows for millions more houses to be built in Surrey without adequate compensation form the builders to build new schools, care homes, doctors, dentists etc.

At the end of the day the council allow the houses to be built, the population to increase and the developers to get rich and then expect the residents to pay more tax to build and update the infrastrucutre to cope.
Lets take an example,1 normal road in Ewell that contains 160 semi detatched houses, likely to be BAND D so £1580 a Year broken down to approx this a month: Surrey County Council - £1195 Surrey Police - £212 Epsom and Ewell Council - £173 So in this one small road in Ewell they tax they receive is: Surrey County council - £191k Surrey Police - £34k Epsom and Ewell Council - £28k 250k is a shed load of money for poor services especially when you concider this to be only 1 small road in Surrey, do we really get value for money? He can blame it what he wants but the end of the day blaming on schools and elderly who is really to blame? Who allows for millions more houses to be built in Surrey without adequate compensation form the builders to build new schools, care homes, doctors, dentists etc. At the end of the day the council allow the houses to be built, the population to increase and the developers to get rich and then expect the residents to pay more tax to build and update the infrastrucutre to cope. EwellMan

2:53pm Thu 30 Jan 14

niftynigel says...

If you are not someone who either benefits from some servives, by choice or not, then you would naturally think that the services that the council tax pays for are poor. Well that's the selfish point of view that EwellMan obviously supports.
Surrey County Council, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and Surrey Police are paid for in a number of ways, not just the Council Tax or Business Rates. However, as far as Surrey County Council are concerned, they receive the lowest grant settlement of all county councils, having to raise most money locally. I'm sure if grants to SCC were more generous then much more could be provided, but the money would have to come from somewhere. I'm sure that EwellMan would the first in queue to complain if his tax bill were to rise (assuming he pays tax) to pay for more or better services!
There is a degree of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Local authorities in less affluent parts of the country are recipients of significantly larger grants bt then they would argue that their needs are greater.
You are right to point out that there has been significant housing (and other) developments. This is partly due to central government policies on immigration and the direct and indirect implications of doing so. The population is rising at a significant rate and without some change of policy, this has to be accommodated. It's a similar picture up and down the country.
For many, the Council Tax is the biggest bill. It's certainly my biggest bill. I'm reasonable enough to appreciate that much of that money is spent in areas where I'm not going to directly benefit, like schools and social care. With even greater demands on schools and social care budgets, there is no simple answer to allocating more money for highway improvements. I wouldn't want to undermine education or social care, but most if not everybody uses the highways at sometimes but it's quite often the poor relation in funding.
I know EwellMan has quoted figures and may appreciate some more. The total budget for Environment & Infrastucture, which includes highways, transport, public transport, maintenance, street lighting, planning and waste management is about £115million. That's just 7% of SCCs whole budget. As I said before, we would need about £3 billion to have the highest quality roads as a standard in Surrey.
If you are not someone who either benefits from some servives, by choice or not, then you would naturally think that the services that the council tax pays for are poor. Well that's the selfish point of view that EwellMan obviously supports. Surrey County Council, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and Surrey Police are paid for in a number of ways, not just the Council Tax or Business Rates. However, as far as Surrey County Council are concerned, they receive the lowest grant settlement of all county councils, having to raise most money locally. I'm sure if grants to SCC were more generous then much more could be provided, but the money would have to come from somewhere. I'm sure that EwellMan would the first in queue to complain if his tax bill were to rise (assuming he pays tax) to pay for more or better services! There is a degree of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Local authorities in less affluent parts of the country are recipients of significantly larger grants bt then they would argue that their needs are greater. You are right to point out that there has been significant housing (and other) developments. This is partly due to central government policies on immigration and the direct and indirect implications of doing so. The population is rising at a significant rate and without some change of policy, this has to be accommodated. It's a similar picture up and down the country. For many, the Council Tax is the biggest bill. It's certainly my biggest bill. I'm reasonable enough to appreciate that much of that money is spent in areas where I'm not going to directly benefit, like schools and social care. With even greater demands on schools and social care budgets, there is no simple answer to allocating more money for highway improvements. I wouldn't want to undermine education or social care, but most if not everybody uses the highways at sometimes but it's quite often the poor relation in funding. I know EwellMan has quoted figures and may appreciate some more. The total budget for Environment & Infrastucture, which includes highways, transport, public transport, maintenance, street lighting, planning and waste management is about £115million. That's just 7% of SCCs whole budget. As I said before, we would need about £3 billion to have the highest quality roads as a standard in Surrey. niftynigel

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