The 12-week consultation runs from now until 21 February 2016 through the council’s Sutton’s Future campaign, which was launched last year to involve residents in helping to make savings due to unprecedented government cuts.
Residents can have their say via the Sutton’s Future website by clicking here. There will also be eight daytime and evening public consultation events in Sutton, Wallington and Worcester Park between 18 and 28 January 2016 to enable residents to have their say and discuss the issues with officials (for venues and times see Notes for Editors below).
The new law has altered the way Sutton Council can charge some people. Some of the discretion the council used to have has been taken away and some of the rules have become discretionary.
Sutton Council can no longer ignore war pensions or war disablement pensions when calculating how much a person can afford to pay towards the cost of their support, nor can it offer people who live with their spouse an assessment as a couple but must now assess people in their own right.
The consultation will look at topics including whether Sutton Council should be more generous than the law requires when determining whether a person meets the eligibility criteria for services; whether pre-payment cards should be introduced as an additional method for people to receive their personal budget amount; and whether there should be a maximum amount people should be asked to pay for services received at home.
Cllr Colin Stears, Chair of the Adult Social Services and Health Committee at Sutton Council, said:
“We want to hear from as many residents as possible about what they think about the tough choices we are facing to fund adult services in the borough.
“The purpose of the consultation is not for the council to benefit from any new charges introduced but to cover the cost of administering some of the new requirements. As our budget will not be increased to cover these costs, if people who can afford to pay for services are not asked to do so, there will be less money available to pay for services for people who cannot afford to buy them themselves.
“Should we not make changes, the costs will have to be met in other ways. This could have an effect on the level of services we can offer, or on the Council Tax, or possibly both.”