Budget 2024/25

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Read our latest Budget 2024/25 eNewsletter Special 16 February 2024

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Release date: 16 February 2024:
Extra investment and updated council plan agreed by full council

Release date: 30 January 2024:
Council plan and budget proposals endorsed by Cabinet

Release date: 18 January 2024:
Budget 2024/25: thank you for your input as council budget plans progress

Release date: 31 October 2023:
Have your say on the county council’s budget proposals for next year

Release date: 30 October 2023:
Leader’s column: update on budget planning from Council Leader Cllr Paul Marshall
Protecting and investing in vital services – West Sussex County Council leader’s message

Release date: 17 October 2023:
Process to balance the budget 'challenging but achievable' says county council

Our Budget 2024/25

The county council’s budget and council plan for 2024/25 have been agreed following a Full Council meeting in February.

A revised council plan was agreed confirming our commitment to four key priority areas, underpinned by a cross cutting theme of ‘protecting the environment’. Our Council Plan sets out the priorities for the council and the outcomes we want to achieve for the people that live and work in West Sussex.

The priorities are:

  • Keeping people safe in vulnerable situations
  • A sustainable and prosperous economy
  • Helping people and communities fulfil their potential
  • Making best use of resources

Extra revenue funding of £81.9m was agreed to be invested into vital day-to-day services which includes:

  • an additional £31.2m for vulnerable children and young people,
  • £18.3m more for adults’ social care,
  • an extra £4m to maintain the county’s 4,000km of roads
  • and £27.8m to manage increased costs as inflation levels remain high

The meeting also agreed a series of measures to balance the budget for the year ahead (2024/25) - including budget efficiencies of £15.7m, an increase in core council tax of 2.99%, and an additional adult social care precept of 2%. This is an increase for an average Band D property of £81.54 per year or £1.57 per week.

Councils around the country are facing financial pressures largely due to inflation and the increase in cost of services. Cost of living rises have also meant that more and more people have required our services. In light of these challenges, a balanced budget was able to be agreed for the year ahead, which will make the best use of our resources.

The county council will spend over £2 billion during 2024/25 on day-to-day services.

This spending includes:

  • Managing schools and education - £961m
  • Caring for adults and keeping people healthy - £507m
  • Children’s social care and supporting young people - £204m
  • Protecting the environment, recycling, and waste disposal - £91m
  • Maintenance of our roads and providing transport - £83m
  • Running our organisation - £77m
  • Fire and Rescue Service - £38m
  • Supporting local communities - £22m
  • Supporting the local economy - £3m

During 2024/25 the council also plans to spend £131.6m of its £695m five-year Capital Programme. The main areas of investment being highways, schools, and the environment.
Amendments to the budget proposals and to the council plan were put forward by opposition parties but these were not approved, following a vote.

You can find more information on how the County Council spends it's money on our Our budget and Council Tax charges pages.

Have your say

To help guide our budget plans, we conducted a public consultation between Monday 30 October and Sunday 10 December. We gathered views on our priorities, vital services, where you'd spend or reduce money, and options to achieve a balance budget. Thank you to everyone who took part.

  • More than 3,300 residents, staff and partners responded.
    68.2% of respondents agreed with Our Council Plan priorities for keeping people safe from vulnerable situations, a sustainable and prosperous economy, helping people and communities fulfil their potential and making best use of resources underpinned by the cross-cutting theme of protecting the environment.
  • 37% of respondents disagreed with where the council spends its money, compared to 28% who agreed, 32% neither agreed or disagreed.
  • The service area most commonly selected across all respondents for increased funding was highways and transport. More on our Better Roads programme.
  • The service area most commonly selected to decrease funding was finance and property, followed by adults’ social care (including Public Health).
  • Highways and transport, and fire and rescue and community support (including libraries) were areas least selected to decrease spending on.
  • The services used the most by respondents over the last 12 months were waste services, such as household waste and recycling centres, followed by rights of way, footpaths, cycleways or country parks and libraries and archive services.

Feedback was considered by our leadership team and Cabinet, with budget proposals finalised at a full meeting of the County Council in February 2024.

Highlights from 2022-23

Not sure what the county council does? Here are some highlights from last year: 

  • 12,000 adults and 883 children were supported via social care.
  • All five of our children’s homes were rated outstanding or good by Ofsted.
  • 4,000 safe and well visits made to people’s homes by our Fire and Rescue Service. 
  • 4,000km of roads were maintained with 96% of highway defects repaired on time.
  • 3,270 businesses supported to start, revive innovate or grow.
  • Two million visits to our libraries with 6.3 million visits online.
  • 91% of children in West Sussex were in schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. 
  • 64% of our services were made available online.

Our 2022/23 Annual Report provides further information about our performance and what we delivered last year. 

Help and advice

We’re all facing financial pressures at the moment but help and support is available. 

For advice and guidance on paying your council tax, please contact your local district or borough council to see if you are eligible for a discount or exemption.

Further advice about local and national support can be found at on our cost of living pages.

Further information

You can stay up-to-date with our latest budget news via our website and by subscribing to receive our regular e-newsletter, straight to your inbox. 
Sign-up to the West Sussex County Council residents' e-newsletter.

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