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Our Record
Friday, 29 March 2013 18:33

 

pieter  louise  

 

 

 Our Conservative Record by Council Leader Louise Goldsmith

 

As a Conservative I believe in strong financial management as absolutely essential to running a good County Council which provides efficient value for money services.

The last 3 years have presented considerable challenges for all local authorities as they have had to make large savings to help reduce the deficit left by the last Labour government, £79 million for West Sussex.

We have reduced bureaucracy by 30%, changed the way we work and in so doing have reduced the number of County Council Offices to 5 in the County, and we have reduced our energy and water consumption and now rated in the top 20 companies for efficient carbon and energy management. We have reduced the number of highly paid officers and are keeping a tight hold on costs all round, no increase in Councillor allowances for over 3 years.

We are working with our partners such as the NHS, District and Boroughs to cut duplication and to provide good services all round and we know there is more to be done.

By taking a robust approach to our finances we have to date saved 59 million pounds savings in the last 3 years and managed to ensure that there is no increase in Council Tax for the last 3 years.

We know that the economy in West Sussex needs a helping hand in these difficult times so we are investing in major building projects, such as a much needed new school in Millais, more classrooms in our primary schools across the County, Shoreham Footbridge to name just a few of the projects that are under way.

We also have allocated £15 million for the Kick-start programme, which includes 6 million for Broadband, along with a range of initiatives to help businesses across the County.

The extreme wet weather over the last 10 months has caused misery to many residents who were affected. The County Council Emergency Management Team and the Fire and Rescue Service have been working together to help our residents in need, as West Sussex County Council is there in an emergency.

But listening to our residents we knew more had to be done which is why we have invested £8.250 million in ‘Operation Watershed’ this money will be invested to improve drainage schemes, road improvements, ditch clearance and support for our communities in local flood projects . Work in underway now and will continue throughout the year.

Over the years I have worked with communities in my Division on a range of issues and campaigns and know that we are blessed with strong communities across the County.

As Conservatives we believe in strong, vibrant communities but know that they need a helping hand sometimes which is why we introduced the Big Society Fund which has been hugely successful and we are allocating £330,000 in the next financial year.

We have also transferred 4 West Sussex Community Buildings back to the community, The Yews, The Holbrook Centre and the Sidney Walter Centre, and most recently Glebelands in Ferring. All fine examples of the County Council working with and supporting our communities which we respect and help.

West Sussex Conservatives are working with our communities, for the good of West Sussex and are good with your money.

 
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