5 February 2019
At Surrey County Council’s Budget meeting on Tuesday 5th February 2019 the new budget for the County Council was agreed, including an amendment from Cllr Jonathan Essex to “request business cases for further capital investment to increase SEND school places in Surrey and assess viability of bringing more residential care of children and adults in house.”
But another Green amendment to diversify Surrey’s investment and reduce the carbon and resource impact of public service delivery across Surrey did not get approved.
Commenting on the budget amendment passed, County Councillor Jonathan Essex for Redhill East said:
“It is excellent that we have agreed that sufficient investment in new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities school places is included in the budget so we can plan and deliver school places in Surrey, just as we do for other children. And we can save money by meeting all of our children’s school needs as close to home as possible.”
“I look forward to the Council properly assessing how it can provide better care both for our most vulnerable children and older people. Bringing more of our looked-after-children back in-house, and back into Surrey, is the right thing to do – it will help us to care for them better. The adult social care market is broken, with poor care ratios, often years passing before external audits for the quality of the care, whilst private sector care home owners make millions".
Ellen Lees, Campaign Officer from We Own It said:
"This is fantastic news and a great step forward towards reversing the dangerous policy of outsourcing our care services. Two-thirds of adult care workers say that the quality of care services has dropped because of large scale outsourcing, so this decision is a huge relief to anyone who relies on residential care. Care services are vital and should never be run for private profit".
Commenting on the overall budget, County Councillor Jonathan Essex for Redhill East said:
“This is yet another budget where the Conservative-led Council is choosing to cut front-line services due to the funding reductions passed down from our Conservative government. It is vital that we break out of this austerity straitjacket, with enough funding from central government to meet our service needs; through bringing services back-in house; as well as shifting our investment strategy to energy efficiency, renewables and sustainable resource improvements instead”.
Cllr Essex has prepared a more detailed paper on his proposals which you can read here.