UPDATE: Council Tax Rise In West Sussex Approved
7:15am 17th February 2017
(Updated 4:06pm 17th February 2017)
People living in West Sussex will have to pay more council tax.
Councillors met today to discuss the budget for 2017/18 at County Hall in Chichester (Friday 17th).
They approved a 3.95% increase in council tax, which includes a 2% increase (worth £7.8m) to support the growing pressures of adult social care and extra funds for the added costs of the National Living Wage rise within social care.
That works out as an extra 92 pence per week for the average Band D household.
Two thirds of residents who responded to the 'What Matters to You' survey in 2016 said they would be happy for their council tax to increase by 3.75 per cent or more.
Here's the word on the streets...
We asked Spirit FM listeners whether they supported a rise.
15 per cent of people said they did, and 85 per cent were against the move.
Councillors also heard about efficiencies and savings to bridge a £46.1million budget gap.
The budget gap is down to a combination of demand on services and £24million being sliced from its core funding from Government.
There is going to be £16.8million of savings across a number of services and a proposal to use £9.4m of reserves.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Jeremy Hunt, said: “The demand on our services is increasingly going up, but unfortunately the money we are receiving from central government is going down.
“Increases in council tax are now built into the government’s expectation of how services are funded so as well as our continuing drive for efficiencies, savings, and new ways of working, we had little choice but to increase council tax in order to protect frontline services.
“But we have kept the increase as low as possible for our residents and I believe this budget provides excellent value for money.”
County Council Leader, Louise Goldsmith, said: “We have listened carefully to our residents both in terms of the services which matter most to them and also in terms of how much council tax they are prepared to pay.
“I’m pleased to say that because of our sound financial management we have not only been able to balance our budget and protect our services but we have also put forward plans for significant investment across West Sussex.
"Areas include adult social care, highways and transport, education, our fire and rescue service, and numerous schemes which will boost our local economy.”
Further details of the investments from the County Council’s capital programme will be released in the coming weeks.
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