East Sussex council tax set to rise by nearly 4%

East Sussex County Council is heading for a 3.99 per cent increase in its share of the council tax from April.

The figure will equate to an extra £1.10 per week for Band D council taxpayers.

Details of the proposed budget were announced yesterday (January 20).

The council is planning to make £3.5m of savings while, at the same time planning extra spending of £6.5m, including a £1m boost for highways work.

East Sussex takes by far the largest share of the council tax bill you receive. Smaller amounts are levied by Wealden District Council, Uckfield Town Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue.

Wealden District is consulting on a 2.6 per cent increase for its share, which would add an extra  extra £5 per annum to the Band D figure

Last night, Uckfield Town Council agreed an increase of nearly 3 per cent for Band D (see separate story).

East Sussex County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to consider additional investment in roads and services for vulnerable adults and children as part of its £403 million spending on services for 2020/21.

Potholes

The extra money could give an extra £1 million for pothole repairs, line repainting and installing dropped kerbs.

There would also be money for improvements to the county council’s residential homes for children with disabilities and some previously agreed savings would be delayed.

The extra money could help establish a project which helps young people with difficult lives access a range of support, expand the family-led process of making decisions for children at risk and get more personal support to help vulnerable people and families avoid homelessness.

Reduce costs

The potential areas for extra spending are being recommended because they will help reduce costs in future as well as doing more for residents.

Chief executive Becky Shaw said: “We welcome some recent additional funding from Government which could be invested in services that benefit the most vulnerable in our society and prevent them from needing greater support and care in the future.

“Although our proposals include additional investment, we will still need to find savings of £3.5 million in 2020/21, guided by our agreed priorities for the county to ensure we direct our resources to where there is the greatest need and where they can have the most significant impact.”

‘Strong position’

She added: “While our careful planning has left us in a strong position, we face ongoing pressures which can only be addressed with sustainable funding, and we will continue to lobby central Government for a system that enables us to properly plan and deliver the highest quality services possible.”

The proposed budget includes a 3.99 per cent increase in the county council’s share of the council tax, which includes two per cent towards the cost of adult social care. For a Band D household in East Sussex, this equates to an additional £1.10 per week.

Over the past decade the authority has had to make savings of £134 million but, according to the report to Cabinet, still faces a deficit of £12.5 million over the two years to 2022/23 once current proposed savings are made.

Core offer

The council’s planning has been guided by its Core Offer approach, which sets a “minimum decent level” of public services for East Sussex as the basis for all activity.

The draft budget and council plan will be discussed by cabinet on Tuesday, January 28.

Cabinet members will be asked to make recommendations to the full council where a final decision will be made on Tuesday, February 11.

See also:

Designs for new Uckfield bus station on the way

Uckfield High Street shop announces closure

Liquidators appointed at Barnsgate Manor

Uckfield commuter bus idea mooted by climate change group

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

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