Budget 2024/25

Find out more about our budget

Latest news

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

West Sussex County Council is working to develop a balanced and sustainable budget for 2024 to 2025 that ensures support and investment continues for our communities. 

We do so by focusing on the four priorities in Our Council Plan 2021/2025 with an underlying commitment to protecting the environment:   

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

Like all local authorities across the country, we are developing our budget in the context of significant financial pressures, caused by high levels of inflation, but also by:

  • a growing adult and elderly population with increasingly complex needs
  • a rising number of children with special educational needs and education health and care plans
  • the noticeable impacts of climate change which are adding to the costs of maintaining the county’s 4,000km of roads
  • continuing cost of living challenges being faced by everyone, which are creating extra demand for council services.

Our shortfall for 2024/25 is currently £44.9 million, which means we will have to make difficult decisions about the level of services we provide and how we deliver them and the level of council tax increase for next year to ensure we can continue to deliver vital services.

That is why we are committed to making the best use of our limited resources while protecting essential services for our growing population of more than 882,600 residents and 37,400 businesses. 

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 at a meeting of our Cabinet on 30 January 2024. Our budget proposals will be put forward for a final decision 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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