Our budget and Council Tax charges

How the County Council spends its money.

1 Our 2024-2025 budget

From the Leader of West Sussex County Council

"West Sussex County Council will spend £2 billion to deliver day-to-day services in the coming year to a growing population of approximately 882,600 residents and 42,600 businesses across our county.

To continue to provide these vital services and meet higher inflation rates we need to increase the County Council’s element of Council Tax. Details of the increase are on the About the Council Tax charge page.

This will allow us to continue to deliver Our Council Plan priorities and support those most in need, whilst investing in services used by all who live, work and visit West Sussex.

Our budget includes an additional £81.9 million to maintain services for:

  • vulnerable children and young people
  • adults’ social care
  • maintaining the county’s 4,000km of roads
  • managing increased costs, as inflation levels remain high.

We appreciate the pressures that many people in our communities are facing. Help is available and we encourage anyone struggling to pay their council tax to contact their local district or borough council to see if they are eligible for a discount or exemption."

Paul Marshall, Leader of West Sussex County Council

For more information from the Leader, see our Budget news page.

Also see general information about:

The current budget and your Council Tax

Each year, West Sussex County Council approves the revenue budget for the next year. They do this alongside a five-year capital programme.

Setting the budget involves agreeing statutory and discretionary fees and charges. You can find these in the Fees and charges schedule on the Budget documents page.

The next pages will give you information about the budget. They will also explain how it relates to your Council Tax bill. You can find detailed information for this year, and past years, on the Budget documents page.

Download and print

You can download and print a document version of these pages.

2 How we spend our funds

The below tables show details of our budget, where our money comes from, including Council Tax income, and how we spend it.

Spending on services

Spending on services.
Service 2023-2024 spend in £millions 2024-2025 spend in £millions
Managing schools and education 883.4 960.7
Caring for adults and keeping people healthy 457.7 507.1
Children's social care and supporting young people 174.1 203.8
Protecting the environment, recycling and waste disposal 84.3 90.9
Maintenance of our roads and providing transport 79.7 83.1
Running our organisation 80.5 77.8
Fire and Rescue Service 36.8 38.1
Supporting local communities 19.1 22.1
Supporting the local economy 2.2 2.7
Total spend on services 1,817.8 1,986.3

Spending on corporate items

Spending on corporate items.
Corporate item 2023-2024 spend in £millions 2024-2025 spend in £millions 
Capital financing 31.6 34.8
General contingency 13.0 12.0
Social care and home to school transport pressures 0 13.4
Additional investment into highways, roads, skills and economic development 5.0 0
Total spend on corporate items 49.6 60.2

Gross expenditure

Gross expenditure.
Spending type 2023-2024 spend in £millions 2024-2025 spend in £millions
Total spending on services 1,817.8 1,986.3
Total spending on corporate items 49.6 60.2
Total gross expenditure 1,867.4 2,046.5

Service specific income

Income sources.
Source of income 2023-2024 amount in £millions 2024-2025 amount in £millions
Dedicated Schools Grant 775.8 850.3
Other service specific government grants 167.8 175.1
Fees, charges and other income 214.4 239.0
Reserves and balances 0.6 13.8
Total service specific income 1,158.6 1,278.2

Net expenditure

Table explaining net expenditure.
Type of expenditure or income 2023-2024 amount in £millions 2024-2025 amount in £millions 
Gross expenditure 1,867.4 2046.5
Service specific income -1,158.6 -1,278.2
Total net expenditure 708.8 768.3

Where funding for our net expenditure comes from

Net expenditure funding.
Funding source 2023-2024 amount in £millions 2024-2025 amount in £millions
Council Tax 567.1 600.2
Business Rate Retention Scheme 97.1 110.0
Social Care Support Grant 42.1 56.3
New Homes Bonus Grant 1.2 1.3
Services Grant 3.1 0.5
Collection Fund -1.8 0
Total sources of funding 708.8 768.3

How spending has changed

The net expenditure table shows that expenditure was £708.8m in 2023-2024 and will be £768.3m in 2024-2025. This is a £59.5m (8.4%) year-on-year increase.

The table below shows the factors that account for the change.

How the spending increase is accounted for.
Item Amount in £millions
Pay and price inflation (excluding schools) 27.8
Demographic and other service pressures 54.1
Increase in service and corporate contingency 12.4
Financing the capital programme 3.2
Efficiencies and other savings -15.7
Transfers from reserves -13.3
Reversal of 2023-2024 additional investment into highways and skills -5.0
Increased investment income resulting from interest rate rises -4.0
Total spending increase 59.5

Payments to outside organisations

The 2024-2025 budget includes legislated requirements for payments to outside organisations, as below:

  • Flood defence levy - £0.365m
  • Sussex Inshore Fisheries levy - £0.386m
  • Chichester Harbour Conservancy contribution - £0.233m
  • Littlehampton Harbour Board precept - £0.558m

3 Our capital investment and expenditure

In addition to our £2m gross expenditure on day-to-day services, the County Council has a five-year capital investment programme for longer term improvements. We expect to spend £131.6m on planned investment in capital projects for 2024-2025 and £695m over the next five years.

This 2024-2025 spend includes:

  • £17m for environmental projects to help reduce the county’s carbon footprint.
  • £59m in highways and transport reflecting its importance for economic growth.
  • £33m investment in the county’s schools, early year settings and accommodation to support vulnerable children.

The below graph shows the total 2024-2025 capital expenditure. It also shows the allocation of spending between services.

Total capital expenditure of £131.6 million. This is made up of: £30.1m for managing schools and education, £2.7m children's social care and supporting young people, £2.9m for Fire and Rescue Service, £0.1m for supporting local communities, £16.9m for protecting the environment, recycling and waste disposal, £14.4m for running our organisation, £59.1m for maintenance of our roads and providing transport, and £5.4m for supporting the local economy.

4 About the Council Tax charge

Your Council Tax makes up 78% of our net spend and helps us fund vital services.

Council Tax charges in 2024-2025

The County Council's part of your Council Tax charge will increase by 4.99% in 2024-2025. For an average Band D household, this increase is equivalent to around £1.57 per week.

The 4.99% increase consists of:

The total increase falls within the maximum permissible limit before a local referendum is required.

Adult Social Care precept

The Adult Social Care (ASC) precept is a charge that ASC authorities can add to Council Tax to help them meet their adult social care expenditure.

According to the Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 your bill must show the ASC precept separately. The amount shown is the cumulative charge since the precept's introduction in 2016.

You can find more information, including how it is calculated, on our Adult Social Care (ASC) precept page.

How we will spend your Council Tax in 2024-2025

Our income from Council Tax for 2024-2025 is £600.2m. The graph below shows the percentage of income we will spend on each service.

23% on Children's social care and supporting young people, 6% on maintenance of our roads and providing transport, 6% on managing schools and education, 10% on protecting the environment, recycling and waste disposal, 2% on supporting local communities, 5% on Fire and Rescue Service, 5% on corporate items, 9% on running our organisation, 34% on caring for adults and keeping people healthy.

5 Council Tax banding and charges

The amount of Council Tax you pay depends on your Council Tax band.

Your Council Tax band is based on the value of your home in 1991. For Council Tax banding queries, contact the Valuation Office Agency.

Charges for 2024-2025

This table shows County Council charges for 2024-2025.

Council tax charges for 2024-2025.
Council Tax band Property value (as at April 1991) County Council charge for 2024-2025
A Up to £40,000 £1,143.30
B £40,000 to £52,000 £1,333.85
C £52,000 to £68,000 £1,524.40
D £68,000 to £88,000 £1,714.95
E £88,000 to £120,000 £2,096.05
F £120,000 to £160,000 £2,477.15
G £160,000 to £320,000 £2,858.25
H Over £320,000 £3,429.90

In addition, your bill includes charges for your:

  • district or borough council
  • Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner
  • town or parish council.

Details of your full Council Tax charge are in your bill. See Paying your Council Tax.

6 Paying your Council Tax

You pay your Council Tax to your district or borough council.

For more information, enter your postcode on our How to pay Council Tax page. This will direct you to your district or borough council's website.

Help to pay your Council Tax

Your district or borough council will also give you information about help to pay Council Tax. This includes discounts and exemptions if they apply.

We offer help, advice and practical support on topics ranging from money management to energy saving. See our pages about the Cost of living.

8 Contact us

Last updated:
4 April 2024
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