County councillors consider near 3.5% tax rise

Members of East Sussex County Council’s cabinet will be considering a 3.49% tax rise when they meet on Tuesday, January 26.

If the recommended increase is approved by cabinet, and later by full council, the band D charge for 2021/22 would see an increase of £52.02 a year for the county council element of the total council tax bill.

Its charge in 2020/21 was £1,492.02. The increase would take band D to £1,544.04, with £22.32 of the increase going to adult social care. 

Wealden Council collects council tax on behalf of all authorities. So, to the county figure will be added the district council’s tax, town or village precepts, and also precepts from the Police and fire services.

Urgent action

East Sussex County Council is pressing for urgent action from the Government on sustainable funding for local services including social care.

A report to cabinet says: “This will include emphasising that it is fundamentally unsustainable for councils to continue funding systemic pressures on social care through local council tax increases.”

The report shows the precept as split between a 1.99% increase for most of its services and 1.5% for social care. Another 1.5% will be precepted for social care next year.

The council has specified its four priorities as driving sustainable economic growth, keeping vulnerable people safe, helping people help themselves, and making best use of resources in the short and long term.

Minimum

The report says the capital programme provides only minimum basic need provision, including essential budgets for school places and highways infrastructure.

It says the council is working with providers of primary care, community health and mental health services, social care and support, community diagnostics and urgent emergency care to set up an “Integrated Care Partnership” to deliver shared priorities.

And it is developing a “Climate Emergency Action Plan” towards a target of the council achieving carbon neutrality from its activities as soon as possible, and in any event by 2050.

The report also says the council is continuing to work with schools to understand the implications of the loss of education and school closures as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

A final decision on the county council’s 2021/22 budget and tax precept is due to be made on Tuesday, February 9.

Details of the recommended budget for 2021/22 can be seen on the county council website here.

See also:

Uckfield councillors agree council tax rise

Wealden Council consults on freezing its share of tax

Pocket-style development better than ribbon, says parish

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