February 8, 2017 by dontbringlulubook
Surrey County Council agreed to a lower substitute budget after around two months of concern at the effect of spending cuts on adult social care.
Surrey’s leader David Hodge had said on national TV the county would have to raise taxes by 15 percent.
The unprecedented proposed rise led to the offer of a referendum.
In the end councillors accepted a rise of just under five percent after a finance officer told the full cabinet meeting in Kingston that she was concerned that a five percent rise meant Surrey would have to draw on 20 million pounds of savings.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed the Tory council had done a secret ‘sweetheart’ deal with the government so a substitute budget could be voted through and a public referendum avoided.
A referendum and a sharp council-tax rise were hugely embarrassing to the government, because David Hodge had made it clear Surrey needed the extra money to fill a black hole in social care.