Thursday, 11 July 2013

A mixture of news for West Sussex

It has been a really busy time over the last couple of weeks, hence no blogs, but there have been some significant pieces of news.

Firstly the fantastic win for Andy Murray, at last a win for the UK after so many years, and the perfect end to a warm summer weekend. It takes an enormous amount of dedication, determination and commitment to have achieved what he has done. I hope he is able to relax a bit and enjoy his well-earned Wimbledon Championship.

Now onto County Council matters. A couple of weeks ago George Osborne gave his speech to Parliament on his Comprehensive Spending Review. We have known for some time that there will be a further reduction for Local Government, which was confirmed, and we have started work on what that means for the County Council in the coming years. No doubt it is going to be tough and having just finished our last three-year savings programme, we are now working on the next one.

However, there was some good news as well. The Troubled Families initiative has been extended from three to five years, with additional funding of around £200 million.

There will also be a £3.8 billion pooled budget for health and social care services shared between the NHS and local authorities, to deliver better outcomes and greater efficiencies through more integrated services. This is a particular objective of the County Council, so is to be welcomed as well.

On a local front, the announcement to provide £69 million for improvements to the Chichester A27 by-pass has also been well received. Added to that, support to deliver solutions for the Worthing and Arundel A27 sections was very helpful as well.

We have been working on all of the above issues with partners and MPs, and lobbying hard - so it is good to see that the cases we and others made have been listened to.

On Friday 19 July we have the first full meeting of the County Council after the elections (I really don’t know where the time has gone since the elections in May). We have a full agenda, so it will be really busy up to and during the 19th. The full County Council meetings are webcast, click here to find out more.

Best wishes,

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