Surrey County Council’s Leader and Cabinet have pledged to keep working “week in, week out” to find savings as the authority continues to face the twin challenges of increasing demand for services and dwindling funding.
In a New Year message to the county, David Hodge unveiled a document highlighting more than 50 ways the council had worked to find savings and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of services.
“In effect, this document shows we have found a new way of saving money or a means of improving the services we provide to residents every week,” he said.
“That’s because the council is working week in, week out to improve the service it provides to the people of Surrey.
“We have a moral duty to make sure residents get as much as possible for their money and have to find ways to make every pound stretch further.”
Since 2010 the county council has made savings of £200m and plans to find more than £220m over the next four. But despite this there is enormous pressure on services, particularly adult social care and school places.
David Hodge added: “The number of older people we need to help has increased from 8,000 to nearly 8,500 in the past two years and will increase by more than 1,000 over the next three years. On average, we spend around £25,000 per person every year so the costs are enormous.
“But while having to dealing with the pressures of a growing elderly population we are also having to tackle a huge increase in the number of children needing school places.
“Over the next three years we will need to build nearly 10,000 school places at a cost of more than £10,000 a place. That will come on top of the 6,000 we have provided since 2010 – the equivalent of around 15 primary schools – as the number of extra places has quadrupled.”
The document highlighting more than 50 ways the council has worked to find savings and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of services can be found by following this link.