Broken council funding formula
We have joined forces with county councils across the UK to ask our MPs to take a message to Government to make changes to Funding Formula plans. For more information, please visit the County Councils Network Website.
If Cambridgeshire was brought up to the current county council average settlement, we would receive £23m more funding per year and rising.This would be enough to collectively:
- Fill an additional 230,000 potholes
- Fund 250 residential care beds for older people
- Support an additional 10 child and family centres
Instead, we face the need to make savings of £22 million in 2021-22, followed by savings of £15m in 2022-23.
The key aspects which we are looking for in a new funding formula:
- Recognition of growth / population changes which are not reflected in the current formula
- Reducing council tax inequality – Council Tax in Cambridgeshire averages £1,650 a year for a Band D property, whereas the average band D taxpayer in Westminster pays £829 and in Wandsworth £845, as Inner London councils have extra revenues from things like parking charges, as well as a higher rate of Revenue Support Grant from central Government
Reduction in our Revenue Support Grant funding
Cambridgeshire saw an £82m reduction in Revenue Support Grant (RSG) from Government between 2013-14 and 2018-19. Since 2019-20, Cambridgeshire has received no RSG at all. During the same period, Cambridgeshire has been one of the fastest growing counties in the country.
We have invested significantly in transformation projects over the last five years, approximately £15m, which has helped to reduce our operating costs by £117m annually.
We also regularly bid for additional funding from the Government and other funding bodies.
Demand for services continues to rise
Despite this, demand for services continues to rise:
Special Educational Needs school places
The demand for Special Educational Needs school places is rising and the complexity of this need is also increasing. We saw a 12% increase in pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) between March and December 2020. This impacts multiple areas of the our budget, including Home to School Transport.
Gap in school pupil funding
Despite additional funding for schools nationally, there is still a gap of approximately 40% between the average per pupil funding received by counties and Inner London authorities via the education funding formula. This means a difference of approximately £1,800 per pupil between what is spent on Cambridgeshire children each year compared to other areas.
Supporting older people
In the past four years, the number of residents aged 85+ in Cambridgeshire has increased by 10%. We welcome the fact that people live longer but need adequate funding to support them to live safely and with dignity.
Join our #Fairdeal4Cambs campaign
Join our #Fairdeal4Cambs campaign and help us in our bid to receive fairer funding for council services in Cambridgeshire.
Write to your Member of Parliament and ask them to support Cambridgeshire County Council in fighting for a Fairdeal4Cambs.
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How we are funded and running costs
Our key sources of funding are:
- Council tax, including the Adult Social Care Precept which is ringfenced for spending on adult social care
- Central Government grants (excluding grants to schools)
- Locally retained business rates
- Income we raise through sales, fees and charges
Our total running cost in 2021-22 will be £756m, not including expenditure by schools.
In 2021-22, we will receive:
- £325m in council tax
- £253m in grants
- £121m in fees and charges
- £57m in business rates
This excludes grants which go directly to schools.
Our savings / income target for 2022-23 is £431.6m with more than £81m required over the next four years from things like:
- Social care client contributions
- Pooled budgets from partners including the NHS
- Rental income from the County Farms estate
- Parking charges
- Energy Investment Programme
Each 1% of council tax equals £3m available for us to spend on vital services.
Percentage increase in council tax has an annual impact on a Band D household as follows:
- 1% - annual increase of £13.59 - Adult Social Care Precept
- 1.99% - £27.00 - proposed additional charge
E.g. at 78p a week, a 2.99% rise is roughly equal to the cost of a first class postage stamp.
- Cambridgeshire's 2021/22 budget aims to keep the burden on residents low while continuing to invest in areas of high importance (February 2021)
- Cambridgeshire offers Government options for financial flexibility to protect vital services (October 2020)
- Environmental measures and support for communities feature in council's budget (February 2020)