Mid Sussex District Council approved its Corporate Plan and Budget for 2017/18 at a meeting of Full Council on Wednesday 1 March 2017.
The financial outlook facing local government continues to be challenging but Mid Sussex District Council has set a balanced budget that protects frontline services, invests in key projects and continues to support the voluntary sector.
Over the last seven years, Revenue Support Grant funding for Mid Sussex has reduced massively from £6.4 million to £845,000. This year the grant funding will reduce even further to just £128,000.
Mid Sussex District Council has bridged the financial gap by maintaining a tight control over costs and using new, cost effective ways of delivering services. The savings generated mean that the Mid Sussex District Council element of Council Tax will rise by just 1.99%, an increase of £3.05 for an average Band D property, which is less than 6p per week.
The Corporate Plan and Budget 2017/18 confirms firm support for future economic growth in Mid Sussex. Over the next 12 months the Council will be working on the creation of a new business park in Burgess Hill, the redevelopment of the station quarter in Haywards Heath, which includes the new Waitrose store, and the revitalisation of the Martlets Shopping Centre.
The Council will be supporting the local community through grants to local voluntary organisations and the Wellbeing Service will help residents to develop healthy lifestyles. Funding will be provided for new community facilities and playgrounds and plans are in place to deliver 200 new affordable homes.
“Our approach to the 2017/18 Budget and Corporate Plan has always been consistent; to protect our key services, deliver savings and invest in community facilities,” said Councillor Garry Wall, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council. “It’s a well-tested and robust method that has enabled us deliver in excess of £7 million in savings over the last decade.
“We’re a low spending authority and I’m proud that we have been able to make such significant savings whilst maintaining and improving our services.
“We always aim to keep Council Tax a low as possible for our residents and we have frozen Council Tax for the last six years. However, in order to protect our services for the future we are proposing a modest increase of 1.99% this year.
“The Chancellor has indicated in his Autumn Statement that government finances will be constrained for some time to come. It’s vitally important that we continue to be prudent, invest wisely and focus our resources on the things that matter most to local people.”