Yesterday, the Surrey County Council Conservative Group successfully passed its £1,042.0m budget for 2022/23, with increased spending on our residents’ priorities.
The budget includes £46.5m for improving mental health across Surrey, boosting investment into Surrey’s roads by £125 million for local highway schemes, investing £470 million to tackle the climate emergency and delivering a further 872 specialist school places from 2023.
Cllr Tim Oliver, Leader of the Council said, “Our 2022/23 budget reflects the important priorities of Surrey residents and ensures that no one is left behind. We’re committed to protecting the 40,000 vulnerable residents across the county, while improving the quality of life for everyone and delivering a stronger local economy with more skills and jobs.
“It is disappointing that the Liberal Democrats, Labour, Residents’ Association, Independents and Green Party councillors didn’t support our budget or make their own costed proposals. By voting against this budget, they have failed to support the much-needed extra investment into mental health services and further investment into adult and children’s social care services.”
All councillors have had the opportunity to raise ideas or objections to our plans through the select committees or directly with the Cabinet, though none did so.
Instead, Liberal Democrat, Residents’ Association, Independents and Labour criticised Conservative plans without putting forward any alternatives to our positive and fully costed budget.
Despite this ambitious financial programme aimed at giving Surrey a brighter future, all the Liberal Democrats, Residents’ Association, Independent, Labour and Green councillors present voted against the Budget, with one abstention from a Residents' Association and Independent councillor.
- More than £1m every single day is spent on Adult Social Care and more than £500,000 is spent every day on Children’s Services. That is why the council tax increase will be deployed as follows: 3.00% increase to fund additional spend in adult and children’s social care, 1.00% increase to fund additional investment in mental health and a 0.99% for inflationary pressures
- We have seen a huge increase in those needing to access mental health support caused by a combination of factors including family crisis, bereavement, loneliness, isolation, employment, or financial challenges. Following the second COVID lockdown in 2021, we saw increases of up to 89% in referrals through the Council’s Children’s Single Point of Access (C-SPA) and a 66% increase in demand for children’s eating disorder services
- The average cost of supporting an older person has increased by 13% compared with pre pandemic levels and across all groups we have seen an increase of 7%
- Our Transformation Programme has so far saved £240m and that’s more than £75m each and every year, with a further £75m projected over the next few years, all while improving services for residents
- The budget represents an increase of £37.3m in spending from 2021/22
- The Budget Programme in full can be found here