Budget gap of up to £15m for East Sussex

A new report from East Sussex County Council has found that the authority will face a budget gap of up to £15 million in 2020/21, if additional funding is not made available.

The State of the County report, which says that this figure increases to £27 million by 2022/23, stresses that increased funding from the government is needed to protect vital council services. A move to the council’s Core Offer, a basic but decent level of service the authority believes is the very least residents should be able to expect, will help ease the pressure but will not balance the budget.

The document identifies growing pressures on the local authority due in part to reductions in funding, as well as an increasingly aged population and more children in need of help and protection as the number of families experiencing financial difficulties increases.

Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council said: “Becoming a more efficient council, working closely with our partners and changing the way we deliver services, along with robust financial planning, has helped us deal with a decade of financial pressure.

“But as the needs of our population rises, we need increased support from central government so we can continue to deliver at least a decent level of service that both protects the most vulnerable in our society, provides vital services and strengthens East Sussex’s economy. The irony is that we are one of the most well-run councils in England, but the unique circumstances and pressures on East Sussex means we have reached crunch point sooner than most.”

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