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County budget

Additional funding for older and younger residents, funding for improvements to the fire and rescue service, road schemes, and projects to generate income in future years, are just some of the proposals being presented to a West Sussex County Council budget meeting today.

 

Members will decide whether to approve next year’s budget at the full council meeting being held at County Hall, Chichester.

 

They will review the budget proposals which not only balance the budget for the coming year, but also cover the costs of an increasing demand for services.

 

Details will also be confirmed of a £712million five-year ‘capital programme’ investment plan, which includes almost £200m for highways schemes.

 

If the budget is approved, it will mean council tax will rise by 1.99 per cent – plus an additional two per cent for adult social care – making a total increase of 3.99 per cent.

 

This puts the county council element of an average band D council tax bill at £1,438.74 – or just under £4 per day.

 

The council state this is an increase of £55.17 per year or £1.06 per week compared to last year’s bill, however this amount is still twice the current rate of inflation.

 

The budget includes investment in services which need improvement, including £12m for improvements in children’s services and £2.6m for improvements in the fire and rescue service.

 

Cllr Jeremy Hunt, cabinet member for finance, said: “We continue to see an increasing demand on our services, particularly in social care.

 

“At the same time, our funding from government continues to reduce and we’re faced with uncertainty around future funding allocations.

 

“We continue to look for ways to make efficiency savings, while still providing essential frontline services. Despite the challenges we face, I’m please to say we continue to be able to invest in priority areas to make improvements where needed for the benefit of our residents.”

 

For further information about the council’s financial position visit: westsussex.gov.uk/budget

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