Sutton Council tax set to stay frozen - cuts proposed for adult social care and children's services

Sutton Guardian: Councillors were given a report which said cuts to adult social care and children's services could prove risky if demand increases. Councillors were given a report which said cuts to adult social care and children's services could prove risky if demand increases.

Council tax in Sutton looks set to be frozen for a fifth consecutive year.

Members of Sutton Council's strategy and resources committee backed a budget that freezes council tax for 2014/15 but continues to fund a park in north London at a town hall meeting last night.

Councillors heard how Sutton has managed to offset cuts in Government grants by sharing services with other councils and by making money from investments in the town, including from new developments at either end of the High Street and Subsea7's plans to build a new base in Brighton Road.

But spending cuts have been proposed in departments such as adult social care and children's care and a report by officers highlighted these cuts could prove risky if there are significant changes in demand from residents.

Sutton plans to use the savings to ensure it can freeze council tax and car parking charges, provide £200,000 of rates relief to businesses, invest £20m in housing stock, and pay the London Living Wage to all its employees.

Councillor Simon Wales, the council's lead member for finance, assets and the voluntary sector, said: "We are doing all we can to support people in a difficult economic climate where our Government grant continues to be cut.

"That means having to prioritise our spending wisely and we have chosen to invest in areas that our residents and businesses have told us matter the most - school places, new homes and supporting our local economy."

The budget still includes an annual levy to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority of £219,000.

The levy has been in place for more than 50 years and funds the north London park, which also benefited from Olympic games funding in recent years.

All London's councils are required to pay it although the Sutton Guardian has campaigned for a change in law which is necessary to stop south London councils paying for the north-east London park.

Coun Jayne McCoy said: "We pay £200,000 to a park that is miles away and, at last count, that only five Sutton people used in the last year.

"After 50 years they have agreed to generously give us a two per cent reduction that we will invest in the Wandle Valley Regional Park which is on our doorstep."

The budget is still subject to a debate and vote at the next full council meeting.

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Comments (7)

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7:11pm Tue 11 Feb 14

GR-London says...

Council Tax in Sutton has been far too high for many years - ridiculously high.
Wages have been stuck at levels of twenty or thirty years ago while living costs have spiralled upwards out of control.

Freeze it? - A reduction would be more like it.
Council Tax in Sutton has been far too high for many years - ridiculously high. Wages have been stuck at levels of twenty or thirty years ago while living costs have spiralled upwards out of control. Freeze it? - A reduction would be more like it. GR-London
  • Score: 9

11:51pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Lolliepop93 says...

Is this for real?! Council tax has NOT been frozen!
I'm signed off but yet I have to pay council tax wth!
Is this for real?! Council tax has NOT been frozen! I'm signed off but yet I have to pay council tax wth! Lolliepop93
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Sutton72 says...

Why on earth should we be contributing to a park in North London?! Perhaps we should request that North London authorites contribute to the Wandle Valley Park.
Why on earth should we be contributing to a park in North London?! Perhaps we should request that North London authorites contribute to the Wandle Valley Park. Sutton72
  • Score: 9

12:54pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Michael Pantlin says...

More cuts to LBS social care? Does that mean the 15 minute home visit will be cut to 10? Only last week LBS wasted another rumoured £10K putting 10 tonnes of litter on display in foul weather in the High Street for six hours and then removing it again. The more money they get their hands on the more they will fritter it away.
More cuts to LBS social care? Does that mean the 15 minute home visit will be cut to 10? Only last week LBS wasted another rumoured £10K putting 10 tonnes of litter on display in foul weather in the High Street for six hours and then removing it again. The more money they get their hands on the more they will fritter it away. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 10

1:40pm Wed 12 Feb 14

LiberalsOut says...

One of the highest Council Taxes in London
Years of waste - even last week £10K supposedly spent on a litter stunt
The answer is simple
You can keep the front line services and cut the "fat" at the top of the Council
No job in local government should be paying anything like £100K or more
Too any people sitting there on fat salaries, inventing meetings to keep a paper trail going and justify their roles
Why do they employ consultants - if you are in charge of a department you should be competent in that role and not need consultants
Too many Councillors - lets face it probably 95% of us have never needed them for anything anyway
Staff taking maximum sickness and think of it as an addition to their holiday - that is taking out of our pockets
Trouble is no party has the will to do anything about it
One of the highest Council Taxes in London Years of waste - even last week £10K supposedly spent on a litter stunt The answer is simple You can keep the front line services and cut the "fat" at the top of the Council No job in local government should be paying anything like £100K or more Too any people sitting there on fat salaries, inventing meetings to keep a paper trail going and justify their roles Why do they employ consultants - if you are in charge of a department you should be competent in that role and not need consultants Too many Councillors - lets face it probably 95% of us have never needed them for anything anyway Staff taking maximum sickness and think of it as an addition to their holiday - that is taking out of our pockets Trouble is no party has the will to do anything about it LiberalsOut
  • Score: 6

1:55pm Wed 12 Feb 14

David7 says...

It’s an election year – what do you expect? Cuts that impact on the most vulnerable, of course, while pandering to the majority. I notice there are no cuts to the council’s press office.

You can guarantee a nice big Council Tax rise next year, if people are stupid enough to re-elect these experts in misfeasance.
It’s an election year – what do you expect? Cuts that impact on the most vulnerable, of course, while pandering to the majority. I notice there are no cuts to the council’s press office. You can guarantee a nice big Council Tax rise next year, if people are stupid enough to re-elect these experts in misfeasance. David7
  • Score: 7

12:41pm Fri 14 Feb 14

col says...

A cut in services while the price remains the same is in actual fact a rise in my eyes. The public is paying the same amount, but getting less in return. Pretty unforgivable when you consider how much has been wasted in recent months on PR stunts and the Brighton Road fence fiasco.
A cut in services while the price remains the same is in actual fact a rise in my eyes. The public is paying the same amount, but getting less in return. Pretty unforgivable when you consider how much has been wasted in recent months on PR stunts and the Brighton Road fence fiasco. col
  • Score: 0

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