West Sussex County Council approves 2019/20 budget
Friday, 01 March 2019 09:50

West Sussex County Council has approved a balanced budget for 2019/20.

The meeting of the full council debated the proposed budget before approving a net expenditure of £575.5 million to deliver key services for all the communities of West Sussex.

As part of the 2019/20 budget the council also agreed significant investments to support the delivery of the five key priority areas of the West Sussex Plan.

These include:
• £6.1 million - additional new investment in Children and Young People’s services
• £7.3 million - investment in Adults and Health.
• Additional investment - Special Support Centres to help to keep students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in mainstream schools with their peers and in their local area.
• £3 million - additional investment in extra care schemes to help keep older people living independently for longer.
• £44.5 million - investment in a sustainable energy programme which includes the installation of solar farms and battery storage on unused council land.
• £5 million - programme to create community hubs and protect key services by bringing them together under one roof.
• £13.8 million - investment in corporate and fire fleet vehicles and £1.8 million in specialist fire equipment to support our Fire and Rescue Service.
• £22.5 million - investment in digital infrastructure supporting businesses and rural communities.

Since 2010, the Council has saved more than £200m and in the same period, government funding has been cut by £145m. The County Council faced a challenging financial gap of £45.4m for 2019/20 alone, due to increasing demand on social care services and a continued reduction in central government funding. As a result, it identified £23.4m of savings across a number of services. The remaining amount has been found through a council tax increase of 4.99% which includes a dedicated 2% to fund adult social care. This increase means an additional £1.27 per week for the average Band D household.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council said:

“Despite the difficult financial challenges we face as a county council this budget includes significant investment in a number of priority areas for the communities we are here to serve. We're making a clear commitment to continue exploring new and innovative ways to generate income and do more with the money we have.”

Jeremy Hunt, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:

“This budget is balanced, robust and sustainable which supports the five key priorities in our West Sussex Plan. It is a budget that supports our residents and ensures that we continue to provide our many excellent services.”


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