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Have your say on ESCC cuts

East Sussex County Council has issued a press release calling on residents to have their say on how the next round of budget savings – or cuts – are to be made.  A saving of £600 per household must be made, it says. HOT’s Zelly Restorick reports.

The local authority states that, “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”. Is anything ‘permanent’: surely everything is subject to change?

And surely it’s not just the increased ageing population who’re placing demands on the system?

The key priorities have been identified as: “protecting the vulnerable, boosting the economy and helping communities become more self-reliant”. Why is the environment not one of the priorities? What would your priorities be?

Do you ever wonder what has really happened –  and is happening – behind the scenes? Or is it best not to know?

Maybe this will be a chance for new solutions to emerge, new beginnings and new ways of approaching life? Best to maintain hope and optimism – and tune out and away from any sense of cynicism.

The press release

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 begin 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.

Have your say

What savings would you want to make for your household? As a town filled with creative and innovative thinkers, I’m sure there are some ideas out there that the Council would want to hear.

Posted 14:14 Monday, Oct 5, 2015 In: Home Ground

2 Comments

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Kathryn Sargent

    Please keep our libraries open – such a valuable, essential resource, especially for jobseekers and those unable to access the internet at home.

    And please, please don’t close our day centres and transport for the elderly – for so many elderly and disabled they are the only means of getting out and meeting others.

    Please keep our Country Park and public footpaths maintained.

    Please stop agreeing to developments that remain empty, white elephant office buildings – as seen in Hastings town centre.
    Reuse our many old buildings instead, perhaps making them into accommodation for needy local people.

    No more pointless and overpriced link roads, please – and stand up to the would-be frackers, support alternative energy projects.

    Listen to us, Lewes: your lovely own is less needy, and how many of you at ESCC really take us Hastingers into account?

    Comment by Kathryn Sargent — Tuesday, Oct 20, 2015 @ 12:18

  2. SJ

    THe 1066 celebrations are a stupid and undignified boondoggle for a few people.

    Comment by SJ — Thursday, Oct 8, 2015 @ 01:36

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