People in East Sussex are being urged to have their say on how council services are delivered in the future – amid a continued public spending squeeze.
East Sussex County Council needs to save between £70 and £90 million by 2019, starting in April next year. This saving, at least 20 per cent of the council’s resources, is the result of cuts in central Government funding and rising demand for council services.
The authority has already saved £78 million since 2010, with measures including reducing the number of senior managers by a quarter, but says it now needs to review all of the county’s frontline services as it adapts to a future of permanently lower public spending in the UK.
The council will still be able to invest £350 million a year on services for East Sussex. It is already working on plans to make the required savings, but is asking residents and businesses to imagine how services could look in the future.
Cllr David Elkin, county council lead member for resources, said:
We’ve shown in recent years how flexible we can be in cutting our cloth according to the difficult financial times we’re in.
However, the continued funding squeeze, at a time when our ageing population places more demand than ever on our services, means more tough choices have to be made.
The reality is we will have to look closely at everything we do and change the way some services are delivered, while some will have to be reduced or even stopped altogether.
This is a challenge but also an opportunity to come up with imaginative new ways of delivering services, including working more closely with our partners, communities and the voluntary sector.
Any decisions we make will take into account our key priorities of protecting the vulnerable, boosting the economy and helping communities become more self-reliant.
While we are already planning for the savings we have to make, we’re really keen to hear people’s views on how we spend their money.
The council’s cabinet will meet in October to being considering its plans for the savings, which amount to around £600 a year for each household in East Sussex. A final three-year budget plan will go before councillors in early 2016.
People can find more information and have their say online at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/savings.