We’ll find out later today (24 January) how much County Hall will up our council tax by in East Sussex.
The County Council’s looking at a 1.99% rise in our bills, along with an additional 3% levy allowed by the Government to help fund social care. A 4.99 per cent council tax increase equates to £62.47 a year or £5.21 a month extra for a Band D household.
County Hall say with another cut in funding from central Government, they need to find ways to make ends meet and as well as looking at a council tax hike, they’re also considering cuts, totalling £17million. The majority of the cuts look likely to fall on adult social care, with other areas such as children’s social care, business services and transport also in the firing line.
In October last year, the County Council thought they were facing a deficit of £24million, but this has since been reduced down to £17million, which the authority say is down to ‘careful management of its borrowing costs and by taking up the option to raise and invest more in social care’.
Cllr David Elkin, East Sussex County Council lead member for resources, said, “It’s welcome news that councillors will now be able to debate a savings target £7million lower than was being considered at one stage. This is now in line with our budget planning, thanks to some very careful financial management and greater investment in social care.
“However, we are still facing considerable challenges and will have to make more tough choices which will have an impact on frontline services.
“Asking residents to pay more is not something we take lightly, but with declining funding it’s one way to protect the most vulnerable in our society and equip us to deal with the challenges ahead.
“The proposals allow us to maximise investment in health and social care – one of the areas of greatest demand – including East Sussex Better Together, our ambitious plan to improve the health and wellbeing of residents by integrating services provided by the county council and the NHS.”