County to freeze Council Tax and boost capital funds

A BUDGET providing huge capital funding for economic development, roads, schools and broadband in East Sussex - and a freeze on Council Tax for the third year in a row - was approved by the County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday.

According to the council the plans, which will now be debated at the full ESCC meeting next month, aim to boost economic prosperity, keep a lid on council tax and make £60m worth of revenue savings over the next three years.

Deputy Leader Keith Glazier said: “We plan to continue our budget for growth to boost the East Sussex economy - with better road links, such as the Bexhill Hastings Link Road, and better broadband through our go-esussex initiative.

“We’re also planning to freeze Council Tax and if agreed it will be the third year in a row that we’ll have capped the tax.

“We know that times are hard for many people, and every pound counts in household budgets, so we need to do our bit to help.”

But Cllr Glazier warns of tough times ahead when it comes to the council’s revenue budget, with potential job losses and cuts in services.

He said: “Like every council in the UK, we face some really hard decisions on our revenue budget.

“Our plans to save £60m over the next three years will mean changes and reductions in some services and more job losses.

“We’ll do our best to mitigate any cuts and protect our key frontline services and we are clear that the most vulnerable in our county will continue to be protected.”

The council received a wide variety of views from residents during a recent budget consultation and these will now be taken on board.

You can watch the budget debate by logging on to the ESCC webcast archives at http://www.eastsussex.public-i.tv/core/