A budget for East Sussex 2020-2021
The budget agreed for 2020/21 will see £403 million spent on services for East Sussex.
The package, agreed by council on 11 February, includes investing an extra £6.5 million which includes:
- An innovative model for helping young people with difficult lives get help and support
- Getting more personal support to vulnerable people and families who need help to avoid homelessness. More accommodation support for some people living with dementia and for people who have suffered domestic abuse.
- An extra £1 million to be spent on highways – patching surfaces, painting lines and creating dropped kerbs to help personal mobility
- Expanding the family-led process of making decisions for children at risk to help them thrive without the need for care or protection proceedings
- Improving residential homes for children with disabilities.
The budget, which also includes £3.5 million of savings, was recommended by the cabinet in January.
Funding for East Sussex
Central government has allocated some extra funding to local authorities, including East Sussex County Council, for the coming year, which is welcome.
However the overall financial picture remains uncertain and challenging.
The Council has reduced spending by more than £134 million over the past decade to keep within the limits set by long-term reductions in financial support to East Sussex and the county’s growing needs. We project a further financial gap of £12.5 million over the two years from 2021–2023.
Yet we continue to provide high-quality services, including children’s social care rated ‘outstanding’ and social care praised by inspectors for the way it is being joined up with health services.
The new budget will see council tax rise by just under 4 per cent, in part to help fund care services for our more vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours. The increase is equivalent to £1.10 per week for a typical household.
We also set out our Core Offer for East Sussex – the reasonable minimum level of public service we think people should be able to expect. This is the approach which guides our financial planning.
The Council will continue to press for long-term sustainable funding to meet the needs of people in East Sussex.