Extra investment and updated council plan agreed by full council


Release date: 16 February 2024

An extra £81.9m will be invested by West Sussex County Council into vital day-to-day services following a meeting of the full council at County Hall, Chichester, today (Friday 16 February).

The extra revenue funding 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 revised council plan setting out the County Council’s priorities and 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.

Cllr Jeremy Hunt, Cabinet Member for Finance and Property, said: “This has been an extremely challenging year in terms of balancing our budget. In July of last year, we reported a potential £45m budget gap for the coming year.

“The pressures we are facing have continued to increase with more and more vulnerable people needing our support, and inflation and the cost of services spiralling.

“However, I’m pleased to say that we have today presented and agreed a balanced budget for the year ahead, which ensures we make best use of our limited resources and protects essential front line services.

“Also, thanks to lobbying we carried out recently, central government has recognised the pressures we are facing and allocated us a small amount of additional funding. Whilst this additional funding is most welcome, it unfortunately does not go far enough to meet the needs of our residents. However, I am relieved to say it does mean we no longer have to draw on our limited budget management reserve in order to balance our budget.”

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
  • Maintaining 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.  

Following a public consultation where residents were asked which services were most important to them, the council also confirmed its commitment to four key priority areas, underpinned by a cross cutting theme of ‘protecting the environment’.

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

Leader of West Sussex County Council, Cllr Paul Marshall said: “This budget shows that we are committed to continuing to invest in the vital services which we know our residents both value and need.

“Our longer term financial outlook remains challenging and difficult, but we will continue to apply pressure to government to provide sustainable funding for councils so we can continue to deliver for our residents.”

For latest news and information on the budget visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/Budget.

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Last updated:
24 June 2024
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