Residents in Suffolk face council tax increase to pay for social care

Suffolk County Council ANL-141006-173324001
Suffolk County Council ANL-141006-173324001

Residents are facing an increase in council tax to help fund adult social care in Suffolk.

While there will be a freeze in its general council tax, the county council plans a two per cent hike to provide £5.4 million of extra funding for adult social care services.

As a result, the Band D tax will increase by £22.50 to £1,149.03. The national Adult Social Care levy was outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Autumn Spending Review.

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet will consider the move on Tuesday as well as proposals to slash £34.4 million from its 2016/17 budget due to a reduction in government funding.

This includes savings of £6.5m from adult and community services, £1.8m from the children and young people directorate, £1.6m from public health and protection, £6m from resource management and £18.4m from corporate resources and capital financing.

Sandy Martin, leader for the county’s Labour Group, said the budget cuts will ‘make the county less attractive and less competitive for businesses, and make Suffolk a harder place to live for residents’.

Cllr Richard Smith, the council’s cabinet member for finance, said he was ‘confident the proposals will not reduce the impact on service delivery’.

He said savings in areas that support Suffolk’s youngest and oldest residents have been ‘kept to an absolute minimum to protect the most vulnerable people’.

Cllr Smith added that the savings focus on greater collaboration with public sector partners to improve social care delivery as well as working with communities and voluntary groups. There is also a drive to integrate health and social care services and rationalise back office functions further.