East Sussex approves plans to spend £365 million on services

Plans to spend £365 million on vital services and impose a 3% adult social care levy received backing from East Sussex County Council members this week

East Sussex County Council’s 2017/2018 budget will see £365 million allocated to vital services for residents, but it also includes a 3% levy to help cover the costs of adult social care as well as an increase of almost 2% on the council tax precept.

Councillor David Elkin, the authority’s lead member for resources, presented the proposed budget to full council on 7 February as “grounded, costed and deliverable, built with strong partnerships and listening”.

“Our budget does not rely on funding that doesn’t exist and has been developed using our four priorities – keeping vulnerable people safe, supporting economic growth, helping people help themselves and making the best use of resources,” said Elkin.

“This budget provides the best way of meeting the needs of businesses and residents of East Sussex for this year and, most importantly, has an eye on the future to make sure decisions we take today give us the best chance of meeting the increasing challenges of tomorrow.”

Tough decisions about services too

The budget, including proposed savings of £17 million over the coming year, received the backing of council members.

Under the agreed terms, residents will pay a Government-approved 3% adult social care levy to cover some of the shortfall for adult social care services, as well as a 1.99% increase on their council tax precept.

This means paying an extra £5.21 a week to the authority for the average household, as of April.

“We are making significant investment of £365 million in services in East Sussex, but we continue to have to make some tough decisions about the services we can no longer deliver or how we can provide them in a different way,” Elkin added.

“We have lobbied Government for a better deal for East Sussex and will continue to do so while working with our local communities and partners to ensure we are making the best use of our limited resources.”

The budget also sets aside £95.5 million for capital projects, including ensuring roads and buildings are well maintained and provision of sufficient school places.

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