East Sussex County Council seeks more Government money

East Sussex County Council is pleading with the Government to recognise the parlous state of its finances.

It is facing the likelihood of slashing services yet again in the budget for 2019/2020.

Councillors have been told in a report by chief executive Becky Shaw that “best endeavours” are being made to live within its means, making best use of resources.

Core offer

A “core offer” of just basic services to residents is being prepared which would reduce the budget by £12.3 million over the next three years.

Ms Shaw’s report states: “It remains unlikely, however, that even the Core Offer will be sustainable by the end of the next three year planning period.

“Lobbying will continue, therefore, to try to achieve a realistic settlement from Government in the short term leading up to the Comprehensive Spending Review.

National funding

 

“We will also make the case that in the long term, a truly ‘fair funding review’ needs to recognises that the resources needed to meet local need cannot be raised from East Sussex residents and businesses.

“The economy and demography of the County mean that it is imperative that national funding solutions are found to fund the growth in demand for social care for older people.”

In addition the council is seeking more discretion over which services it has to provide and having a choice to charge for some services.

Under the core offer proposals, there would be cuts to the highways budget, a poorer service to people seeking archive material at The Keep, food sampling and inspection targeting “high risk” areas only, ceasing engagement with community safety partnerships, a reduction in library services, reduced clearance of footpaths, savings in the schools and social care budgets plus other areas too.

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