Louise Goldsmith Council Leader
County Councils are at the forefront of the local community. In West Sussex alone in 2016-2017 we will spend £535 million on 80% of our services from social services to roads and drains. This is action at a very local level that touches the community in real time, addressing their real issues.
Over the last 7 years considerable savings have been achieved through driving greater efficiencies into our local services. More robust management and teamwork has enabled us to think and operate in a way suited to the current economic climate we all have to face.
We are all in very difficult financial times at present, which is why a key priority for us has been, and remains to, keep council tax bills down. We kept your West Sussex County Council tax frozen from 2010, but rising costs and decreasing central Government support has meant a small increase of 3.96% for 2016/17. A full 2% of that increase will be dedicated to funding an increase in Social Care spending.
Whilst driving cost reductions has been an economic necessity; we have also continued our concerted focus on generating and strengthening the local economy in West Sussex. We are and will continue working with a number of businesses, both large and small, to help foster opportunities for all.
We believe in strong, vibrant, self-reliant communities and for this coming year have retained our commitment to work with you against flooding and will provide up to £500,000 to continue Operation Watershed.
Looking forward we also need to ensure that our infrastructure can support the demands of the local community as well as the changing environmental climate. Our programmes include improving the road infrastructure where we have spent £30M upgrading unclassified roads via our Better Roads project; enhancing flood and drainage schemes; helping our elderly and very vulnerable live better lives and helping our young to a good start in life.
Conservative Councillors work tirelessly for their local communities and for the good of West Sussex and will continue to do so.
On 5th May West Sussex residents have the chance to vote in District and Borough local elections in Adur, Crawley and Worthing. They can also vote for their choice of Police and Crime Commissioner. Please use your vote wisely, vote Conservative.
The leader's specific responsibilities are:-
- Political Direction
- Overarching responsibility for Finance & Performance Management
- County Council Policy & Strategy
- External Partnerships
- fairness for All policy
- Green deal / Local Enterprise Partnership