Friday, 30 August 2019

#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019

This Monday, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is supporting the Local Government Association’s campaign #CouncilsCan.

We all know councils can - we’ve proved it year in year out. But you can only manage on a shrinking budget for so long and we have all come to that point, that is why the announcement of the Government's Spending Review next week is so critical to not only WSCC but all other councils across the country. That is why we are all getting behind the campaign.

Between 2010 and 2020, councils across the country will have lost almost 60p out of every £1 the Government had provided for services. Despite this they have continued to deliver for their communities, providing vital services daily and supporting local communities to thrive.
Closer to home, in West Sussex the county council still has a gross budget gap, before council tax rises, of over £127 million, to close over the next 4 years. Years of austerity and funding reductions, coupled with rising demand and more complex care cases, have brought some of our essential services, such as children’s social care, to crisis point.

Earlier this month I wrote personal letters to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Secretary of State for Education and the Ministers for Care and Children and Families, reiterating the severe challenges that we are facing here in West Sussex in relation to protecting the most vulnerable children and families in our communities, calling on the Government to help relieve this significant financial pressure and ongoing uncertainty as a matter of urgency.
Let’s see what the Government announces next week.  Unless we see positive change it is going to become increasingly difficult for our councils to improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. 

I do hope and pray that our voices are heard and that we continue #CouncilsCan rather than be forced to become increasingly #CouncilsCannot.

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