Council Tax 2024 to 2025

How your money is spent

The council's 2024/25 budget includes more support for children with additional needs and disabilities, and greater investment in roads and buses.

With costs of delivering services rising faster than the council's income, a combination of efficiency savings and an increase in Council Tax rate is needed to ensure a balanced budget.

The proposals were approved at a Full Council meeting on Tuesday 6 February.

Introducing the budget, Council Leader Tim Oliver, said: "We are making decisions with our residents' council tax, a significant proportion of people's household budgets, and with it, providing services they rely on every day, to improve their lives and stay safe and well. Ensuring we do that responsibly, setting a balanced budget, focusing on the right priorities, ensuring our foundations are strong for the future and our services are sustainable, is one of the most important duties we have."

The budget

The budget sets out all areas of council spending, with more than 70% of the total revenue budget for the year spent on caring for people with complex needs and disabilities, elderly people and children in care.

In addition, the more visible services like road maintenance, libraries, countryside management and community recycling centres are experienced by the most people. And other services, such as Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Trading Standards, and environmental and emergency management, are about keeping people safe and preventing or responding to serious incidents.

A specific allocation of £5m will be spent on preventative measures in Children's Services, supporting young people and families as early as possible to improve their life chances.

High rates of inflation are impacting the council's finances, with increasing cost of staff pay, contracts and supply chain. Additional money announced by government in the Local Government Finance Settlement, equating to around £11m for Surrey, is welcome but not enough alone to balance the budget. As a result, over £53m of efficiencies have been identified across the council, and Council Tax will rise by 4.99% this year.


Introducing the budget, Council Leader Tim Oliver said: "Our capital investment programme is focused on getting the right building blocks in place to ensure demand can be met more effectively and sustainably in the years ahead:

"More modern forms of care accommodation and supported independent living schemes will enable elderly people and those with additional needs to live within the community for longer, increasing resilience and reducing reliance on expensive and often less effective institutionalised residential care.

"Our programme of building more modern children's homes, to give those young people in care the best possible start in life, increasing their life chances, and health and wellbeing, so they are better able to forge a successful, stable, more independent life when leaving the care system.

"Building better schools – providing the best possible learning environment, with modern settings and technology, enabling young people in Surrey to develop the life skills that will help them flourish in the world.

"Funding community-led projects through Your Fund Surrey, which benefit local communities by increasing participation, connections and mutual support – helping communities help themselves to thrive.

"Investing in Surrey's transport infrastructure and town centres, to enable easier, cleaner travel around our county, reducing emissions, improving air quality, health and wellbeing, and fundamentally tackling the climate emergency.

"This investment speaks to our forward-thinking – investing in the foundations of a modern preventative service, fit for the future."

Another major investment comes in the form of the River Thames Scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to thousands of homes, businesses and vital infrastructure while unlocking the economic, health and environmental benefits of the river between Egham and Teddington and responding to the challenges of climate change and nature recovery.

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