Council tax summary 2024 to 2025

"Services held steady again despite huge spending challenge"

Keith Glazer, leader of East Sussex County Council
Keith Glazier - Leader of the Council

“It’s very good news that for the second year in a row we have not had to make any new cuts to services in East Sussex in our latest budget.

“We will spend more than £1 billion in 2024/25, including on schools and the people who most need help in East Sussex:  our relatives, children, friends or neighbours who need particular care or protection because they are vulnerable.

“About three-quarters of our spending goes into these areas. With demand and costs rising, it’s not unknown for us to have to provide more than £10,000 a week for the care of someone with most complex needs.

“To maintain this spending for the coming year we’ve had to make two difficult choices. One is that we’ve had to spend a large chunk of our very limited reserves to bridge the gap between the money we have and the cost of maintaining services. We can only do this once, and it doesn’t solve the growing gap for years ahead.

“The second thing we’ve reluctantly had to do is ask for an increase in council tax of 4.99% for county services next year – about £1.62 per week for a typical (Band D) property. We know this isn’t easy amid cost-of-living pressures, but your contributions to the cost of services are vital and much appreciated. Your borough or district council can help anyone who qualifies for support with council tax.

“Our focus is on continuing to provide the quality services which you deserve. It’s getting harder each year as the gap grows between the cost of those services and the resources we have available. We’d like to spend more on the services almost all of us use (like highways for example) but our first obligation is to our most vulnerable residents and our room for manoeuvre is very limited.

“You’ve told us that you’d like us to press the government for more support for East Sussex, and we’ll continue to do that. We know how vital our services are and in a very difficult financial climate we’ll keep working to make them the best they can be.”

An increasing budget funding gap

Cumulative funding gap since 2013/2014. A reduction in overall available funding over 10 years means this year’s spending is almost £130 million lower than it would be in real terms if it had continued at 2013/14 rates.
Figure 1 shows the widening gap between the total income for the council and the amount we could have spent had funding remained at the same level as 2013/14.

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:

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 early help to families to tackle problems before they become impossible to turn around, projects to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people in East Sussex, investment to improve the condition of our roads network wherever we can, and the delivery of a new economic growth strategy for the county.

The year ahead

In 2024/25 the council (including schools) will spend £1,071.8m. 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 2024/25 includes raising council tax by 4.99% (2.99% council tax plus 2% Adult Social Care Precept), which is a total increase of £1.63 a week for a Band D property.

Our total planned net expenditure for the coming year is £538.1m. This is the money mainly contributed from council tax and business rates and allocated by the council. However, the funding made available to meet the required investment is not sufficient and reserves of £14.3m are required to be used in 2024/25 to set a balanced budget:

Our annual budget helps to fund a 10-year programme of capital spending – for one-off costs and projects like new school buildings, improved road bridges or green heating systems. This year, investment in infrastructure and assets of £97m will be spent through the capital programme, including:

  • £38m on improvements and maintenance to highways and pavements,
  • £13m on school buildings, including providing necessary additional school places, and
  • £5m on addressing climate change and environmental schemes.
Net budget for 2024 to 2025 is £538.1m. Net budget by department in millions: 259.5 (48%) for Adult Social Care; 144.1 (27%) for Children’s Services; 73.6 (14%) for Communities, Economy and Transport; 22.6 (4%) for Centrally held budgets; 29.4 (5%) for Business Services and Orbis; 8.9 (2%) for Governance Services. Net budget by source of income in millions: 373.6 (69%) from Council Tax - £32.57 per week for a Band D property; 102.4 (19%) from Business Rates; 62.1 (12%) from Government Grants.
Figure 2: Where the money comes from and net departmental budgets for 2024 to 2025. Note that the Centrally Held Budgets figures include a £14.3m one-off use of reserves.

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 7 February 2024, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced, as part of the final local government settlement 2024 to 2025, and subject to the approval of the House of Commons, that Councils would be able to charge 2% in 2024/25.

* The Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

Charges per council tax band

Your household charge for county services
Band General expenditure ASC Precept Total council tax 2024/25
A  £ 1,014.54  £    171.00  £ 1,185.54
B  £ 1,183.63  £    199.50  £ 1,383.13
C  £ 1,352.72  £    228.00  £ 1,580.72
D  £ 1,521.81  £    256.50  £ 1,778.31
E  £ 1,859.99  £    313.50  £ 2,173.49
F  £ 2,198.17  £    370.50  £ 2,568.67
G  £ 2,536.35  £    427.50  £ 2,963.85
H  £ 3,043.62  £    513.00  £ 3,556.62

You can see how your council tax band is worked out on GOV.UK.

The council tax you pay is based on the value of your house in 1991. If you have any questions about your banding please contact the Valuation Office Agency.

Finding out more

Should you have any questions about the budget please contact us.

Email: Finance

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.