Budget Decisions

Information about our 2019/20 budget decisions...

Further information

A strong, safe and sustainable place

A strong, safe and sustainable place

Subsidised bus services

Along with other local authorities across the country, West Sussex County Council has to make difficult decisions as a result of ever-decreasing funding from central government. Whilst the majority of bus services in West Sussex are run commercially, some routes receive funding from the County Council to help them run, costing £2.57m a year.

In order to see if this could be reduced, a bus user survey was held to help understand which services are of the greatest benefit to residents. More than 4,300 responses were received which helped identify any impact that users could face if the services were changed.

The County Council has adopted a revised Bus Strategy 2018 to 2026. It will continue to invest £2.27m subsidising the bus services across West Sussex, a reduction of £300,564.

Discussions are now underway with bus operators. The County Council are also engaging with district, borough, town and parish councils, and community organisations to explore ways to find alternative funding and community transport solutions.

No changes will be made until April 2019 at the earliest and residents and bus operators will be kept fully informed about the next steps.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “We believe that where possible public bus services should be run on a commercial basis. With the ever-increasing financial challenge faced by the whole County Council, we have had to look at reducing funding for subsidised bus services. It is important to stress that school transport services will not be affected.

“We would welcome hearing from any organisations, not yet contacted, who would like to be involved in finding alternative funding sources or providing community transport."

Contact us to get involved (external link)

Full details of the decision can be found on the West Sussex County Council website.

On-street parking

Road Space Audits are planned to take place in the majority of urban areas across the county to help with on-street parking management.

They will help to identify where there is a need to implement better parking solutions in an area that supports the County Council’s aspirations of economic development, improved safety and sustainable transport.

The decision is in three parts. The first is a decision to consult upon or formally advertise Road Space Audit parking management proposals by the Director for Highways and Transport following consideration by the relevant County Local Committee.

The second is a decision to implement Road Space Audit parking management plans (including changes to the parking arrangements contained within the plans and any changes to the on street car parking charges), taken by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure following engagement and consultation with the Chairman of the relevant County Local Committee.

The third is to implement the on street parking controls in line with the parking management strategy.

Local Members and the County Local Committees will continue to be fully and closely involved in all aspects of the development and delivery of Road Space Audits.

A programme looking at various locations across the county that could potentially benefit from a Road Space Audit and parking management plans has also been agreed.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “Road Space Audits provide the vital technical data we need to inform how we implement better, settlement-wide parking solutions that remove or reduce indiscriminate and unsafe parking.

"Such schemes will also support our economic development/improved safety/sustainable transport aspirations in a way that balances the needs of residents, businesses and visitors.”

Full details of the decision can be found on the West Sussex County Council website.

Revisions to recycling credit payments

As a county, West Sussex County Council are passionate about increasing recycling and reducing the amount of waste that is thrown away. There has however been little improvement in West Sussex household kerbside recycling rates over the last eight years; in some cases performance is worse than it was in 2010. In that period the County Council has provided around £41.5m of funding to the district and boroughs.

In order to drive up the recycling rate the County Council, together with our district and borough partners, need to work differently and more ambitiously to make sure it is removing as much as possible from the waste stream to help deliver a cleaner, greener West Sussex for everyone.

The County Council is therefore searching for a new approach going forwards, one that rewards innovation and improved performance. In the meantime, the County Council is introducing a scheme where payments will be based on a rate paid for each tonne of mixed dry recycling for example, paper, card, and plastic bottles. This will save the County Council around £1m in 2019/20 but will still give scope for district and boroughs to receive higher levels of payments as a result of improved performance.

Full details of the decision can be found on the West Sussex County Council website.

Independence for Later Life

Independence for Later Life

Housing Related Support (HRS)

West Sussex County Council continues to invest £4.6m in 2019/20 in housing related support making savings of £1.7m, with a proposed further reduction of £2.3m in 2020/21.

The County Council stopped receiving dedicated government funding for HRS in 2011 and due to the challenging financial position it must now make changes in the delivery and funding for these services. Between January and September 2019 the County Council will be developing its future service offer with the first changes coming into effect in October 2019.

By adopting a phased approach the County Council will work with its partners in the district and borough councils, service providers and the voluntary and community sector, to reconfigure some existing service contracts.

The County Council will explore alternative funding streams and develop innovative new methods of supporting people who rely on these services with the supporting aim to minimise the potential risk of increased pressure in other areas.

Full details of the decision can be found on the West Sussex County Council website

Local Assistance Network (LAN)

This funding provides immediate, urgent support to people in crisis. West Sussex County Council are investing £200,000 in 2019/2020 which will include maintaining contributions to foodbanks and practical assistance through our children and family centres, but with a reduced level of funding to several local social enterprises and the Citizens Advice network.

For the last three years the County Council has continued to fund the LAN despite receiving no central government funding, but it is unable to continue supporting these services in the same way. Whilst the contribution is reducing, the council will continue to support those most in need.

Full details of the decision can be found on the West Sussex County Council website.

In response to the decisions Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health said: “The consultation provided the opportunity to meet with the coalition of providers, the district and borough councils as well as those people who would be affected by any change in funding. Therefore we have decided to continue to invest in these services but just not to the same level that we have to date.

“We have already begun the detailed conversations with our district and borough councils, and the voluntary and community sector organisations that provide many of these services, and we will continue to work together on developing new ways of delivering this type of support.

“I fully recognise the vital services provided by those who are funded through HRS. The phased reduction of this funding, over a period of two years, is to enable us to work with these providers, and other partners, to find solutions which continue to meet the needs of our residents but also deliver the savings that we have to make.”

Hear directly from the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, Amanda Jupp about the decisions. 

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Minimum Income Guarantee 

Under the Care Act 2014, the amount people pay towards their care should allow them to maintain a defined level of income which meets their living costs. This is known as the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG).

West Sussex County Council are reducing the MIG to the statutory minimum and the amount people pay will remain means-tested. 

Until now, the County Council has maintained a MIG which is 5% higher than the statutory minimum set by the government. Due to the County Council’s difficult financial situation this can no longer be sustained and it is therefore bringing the MIG allowance in line with the statutory minimum.

Full details of the decision can be found on the West Sussex County Council website.

Best start in life

Best start in life

Integrated prevention and earliest help (IPEH)

West Sussex County Council’s funding for the national Troubled Families programme will be cut by £560,000 in 2019/20.

The Integrated Prevention and Earliest Help (IPEH) service, part of Children and Family Services, will no longer receive the £560k government grant for the Think Family programme in 2019/20 (called Troubled Families Initiative nationally).

To continue this programme the County Council will need to make changes to the way some services are funded, including the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, National Citizen Service and the Purple Bus.

Paul Marshall, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Supporting vulnerable children and families is one of our key priorities. Our Think Family programme, working with the most vulnerable families, has been successful and we are committed to maintaining it in the next financial year as central funding for this programme reduces. As a result, our wider early help services need to save £560,000 in 2019/20.

“We are managing this by conducting a review of our Integrated Prevention Earliest Help service to look at creating a more targeted early help service that maintains this specialist support to families. We are working to find alternative providers for the small number of schemes affected that we currently fund.”

Full details of the decision can be found on the West Sussex County Council website.

Hear directly from the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Paul Marshall, about the decision.

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