Released: 17 January 2023
Proposals to deliver a County Council budget that delivers for those most in need whilst also increasing funding across many Council services will be examined by the Council’s Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee next week.
The Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday 25 January at 10.30am. Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting at County Hall, Chichester, or follow the discussion online via a webcast.
The proposals from the Council’s Cabinet set out how the Council intends to deliver its Council plan priorities and support the most vulnerable, whilst continuing to invest to fund improvements in services that are used by all who live or work within the County.
The Cabinet is proposing that the Council will spend £1.86 billion next year (2023/24) to deliver vital services to a growing population of 882,676 residents and 37,400 businesses across West Sussex.
Chairman of the Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee, Pieter Montyn, said: “The budget is being set in an extremely difficult economic period, with high levels of inflation alongside increasing demand for services and cost of living pressures.
“The Committee’s role is to look carefully at the proposed draft budget to understand how the Council intends to provide essential services for our residents in a cost-effective way.”
The draft budget proposals include a plan to increase council tax by 2.99% - plus an additional 2% for adult social care – making a total increase of 4.99%. This would see an increase for an average Band D property of £77.67 per year or around £1.50 per week.
The draft budget report explains that the proposed increase in council tax would mean the County Council can balance its budget and protect vital services without drawing on funds that are held to manage future challenges. It also explains where these funds will be spent to ensure the delivery of services expected by residents and businesses.
Comments and recommendations from the Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee will be reviewed by the Council’s Cabinet at a meeting in public on Tuesday 31 January.
Final decisions on the budget and any increase in council tax will then be made at a meeting of Full Council on Friday 17 February. This meeting will also take place in public and can be viewed online.
Anyone who wishes to make a comment on the budget can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone struggling to pay their council tax is advised to contact their local District or Borough Council to see if they are eligible for a discount or exemption.
Further advice about local and national support available for people struggling with the rising cost of living can be found at www.westsussex.gov.uk/CostOfLiving