Council managing to retain front line services

In spite of yet another massive cut to the government grant Eastbourne Borough Council is managing to retain the services that residents rely on.

In its draft budget of £13.7m, it is proposing savings of just over £1 million and essential growth of just under £1 million which will be funded by income from services, business rates, council tax and the much-reduced government grant.

EBC has weathered the financial storm of recent years by transforming the way it delivers services, investing in projects that bring in a good return and by merging with Lewes District Council. Their forward-thinking approach has saved millions while continuing to support the Community Grant scheme of more than £300,000 and the Devolved Ward Budgets of £10,000 per ward at a time when other councils have had to cut this support.

Next year's budget proposes a 1.97% rise in council tax bringing the bill for a Band D property to £237.51 per year, a rise of 9p per week.  This represents 13% of the total council tax bill with the remainder being split between East Sussex County Council, the Police and Fire authorities.

Councillor Gill Mattock, portfolio holder for Financial Services said, "Government funding has been cut by another 30% for next year and this is on top of a similar reduction between 2011 and 2016.  We do not believe in just slicing departmental budgets preferring to invest in modern technology to deliver services in a different way. This approach has served us well up to now, but it is getting ever more difficult."

Issued 14 December 2017