Council tax summary 2023 to 2024
"Stability means no new cuts to services"
"I’m very pleased we have not had to make any new cuts to services this year. It represents stability for residents of East Sussex, especially those who most need some help because they are particularly frail or vulnerable.
"Most of our net budget of £501m supports the people in our community who fall into this group. But it also funds the services most or all of us use, from pavements, roads and cycle paths to libraries and waste/recycling sites.
"These are tough times of course and there is financial pressure on us all, including on local authorities like ours. One reason we’ve been able to maintain a stable budget is good financial management over many years. We’ve reduced our spending by almost £140 million in little more than a decade – and that’s forced some difficult decisions. But facing them in the past means we don’t have to make tough choices right now.
"In many cases we’ve found new and improved ways of working, often in partnership - for instance with the NHS, with schools, others in the public sector or with voluntary and community groups. If you’ve been part of that, either through your own organisation or as a volunteer, I’d like to thank you.
"But everyone in East Sussex plays their part. The council tax you pay is a vital contribution and we are having to ask for a small increase this year to cover the cost of our services – about £1.55 a week extra for a typical home. We know that for some people, meeting bills as the cost-of-living rises is very hard. Council tax reductions are on offer through your borough or district council for people who are struggling to pay and who qualify.
"Every penny you contribute in council tax helps maintain public services when they’re needed more than ever. A stable picture in this coming year doesn’t guarantee the future. We’ll continue to make the case with the government that you, and we, need more support for East Sussex."
An increasing budget funding gap
Central government have allowed local authorities to raise more from council tax as the gap has widened.
How we’re spending your money – and why
Everything the council does is focused on working towards four priorities we want to achieve for you:
- Driving sustainable economic growth
- Keeping vulnerable people safe
- Helping people help themselves
- Making best use of resources in the short and long term
The council provides services used by residents in East Sussex, including care and support to children, families and the elderly; maintaining the roads and providing library services; and working to boost the local economy.
Our Council Plan for the coming financial year, sets out the programme of things we’ll deliver, including improved bus services, integrated care services, a new strategy for providing Special Educational Needs and Disability support for East Sussex children and the development of a new economic strategy for the county.
The year ahead
In 2023/24 the council (including schools) will spend £988.5m. This is the gross budget and more than two-thirds of it goes on schools, Adult Social Care and Children’s Services, supporting the county’s most vulnerable residents who need particular care and support – including older people, people with mental health issues and learning disabilities and children and families.
The budget for 2023/24 includes raising council tax by 4.99% (2.99% council tax plus 2% Adult Social Care Precept), which is a total increase of £1.55 a week for a Band D property.
Our total planned net expenditure for the coming year is £501m. This is the money almost entirely contributed from council tax and business rates and allocated by the council.
Our annual budget helps to fund a 10-year programme of capital spending – for one-off costs and projects like new school building, improved road bridges or green heating systems. This year, investment in infrastructure and assets of £97m will be spent through the capital programme, including:
- £21m on improvements and maintenance to roads and pavements,
- £13m on school buildings, including providing necessary additional school places, and
- £3m on addressing climate change and environmental schemes.
What is the Adult Social Care Precept?
By statute* the Council is required to supply separate information on the Adult Social Care Precept.
The Secretary of State made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)
The offer was the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting its expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016/17. It was originally made in respect of the financial years up to and including 2019/20. If the Secretary of State chooses to renew this offer in respect of a particular financial year, this is subject to the approval of the House of Commons.
On 6 February 2023, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced, as part of the final local government settlement 2023 to 2024, and subject to the approval of the House of Commons, that Councils would be able to charge 2% in 2023/24.
* The Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.
Finding out more
Should you have any questions about the budget please contact us.
For questions about your council tax speak to your local district or borough council. Their contact details are on our council tax page.
You can find out more about the work we will be doing over the next three years in our Council Plan, which will be published on our website by 1 April, along with full details of our budget for the year ahead.