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Suffolk County Council launches public consultation to help prioritise services in next year's budget

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Suffolk County Council has launched a public consultation for help to prioritise its funding towards services in the 2022/23 budget.

Following the Chancellor's recent spending review and autumn budget, the council has the option to raise council tax by two per cent and the adult social care precept by two per cent.

With the continued challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, they are asking residents for their thoughts on helping to prioritise its funding for the coming financial year, alongside meeting the continuing costs of statutory care services.

Mid Suffolk District Council, Endeavour House (53192244)
Mid Suffolk District Council, Endeavour House (53192244)

Priorities for the forthcoming year include promoting and supporting the health and wellbeing of all people in Suffolk, protecting the environment and providing value for money for the taxpayer.

Councillor Richard Rout, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Environment at Suffolk County Council, said: "Local public services continue to face many financial challenges as we look to recover from Covid, address rising energy costs and invest our limited resources and money in the priority areas of service to protect our most vulnerable residents.

“As part of the annual budgeting process, it is important to hear your thoughts on the services we deliver, to understand which ones you believe should be prioritised, and how we may look to fund future spending in these areas.

Richard Rout, Conservative cabinet member for finance and the environment and deputy leader of Suffolk County Council. Picture: Suffolk County Council (53192250)
Richard Rout, Conservative cabinet member for finance and the environment and deputy leader of Suffolk County Council. Picture: Suffolk County Council (53192250)

"We are absolutely committed to providing the best services for all residents, but like all councils we do not have unlimited funds.

"This means that if residents want us to spend more money on certain services, we have to spend less in other areas in order to continue to balance our budget now and in the future.

“I want to understand more about the areas you want us to focus on with the budget that we have left over after covering our statutory care duties.

"Whilst this may be limited, we continue to use every penny wisely to bring many benefits to Suffolk. As part of this engagement, we want to find out where people place their priorities and how they feel about the way in which we fund these services."

The consultation is open until December 20.

A proposed budget will be presented at the Cabinet meeting on February 1, 2022 and the final budget will be discussed at Full Council on February 17, 2022.

Cllr Rout added: "I’m encouraged by the fact that the Chancellor has recognised the excellent work carried out by local authorities in the last year announcing new grant funding of £4.8billion for local authorities over the next three years.

"We wait to see in the coming months, how much comes to Suffolk.”

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