Mark Whitehead 10 July 2019

‘Well-run’ council faces £15m budget gap

‘Well-run’ council faces £15m budget gap image

A Conservative-led council claiming to be one of the best-managed in the country has warned it must have more Government money if it is to provide a 'decent level of services'.

East Sussex County Council says it will face a £15m budget gap next year without extra funding, rising to £27m in 2022/23.

The State of the County report, to be presented to the council's cabinet next week, identifies growing pressures due to reductions in funding as well as an ageing population and more children in need of help and protection.

It says a move to a 'core offer' providing a level of service the authority believes is 'the very least residents should be able to expect' will help ease the pressure but will not balance the budget.

Council leader Keith Glazier said: 'Becoming a more efficient council, working closely with our partners and changing the way we deliver services, along with robust financial planning, has helped us deal with a decade of financial pressure.

'But as the needs of our population rises, we need increased support from central Government so we can continue to deliver at least a decent level of service that both protects the most vulnerable in our society, provides vital services and strengthens East Sussex’s economy.

'The irony is that we are one of the most well-run councils in England, but the unique circumstances and pressures on East Sussex means we have reached crunch point sooner than most.'

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The delay to the fair funding review can only add to anxiety over the future of local government, says Mark Whitehead
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