An explanation by Cllr Bob Standley
As Conservatives we don’t like to see tax increases as we believe as much of our residents’ earnings should be left for them to spend as they choose. However we also need to supply the essential services our residents require.
Wealden District Council
For many years Wealden froze the Council Tax but last year and this coming year have increased the tax by 2.7%, roughly in line with inflation. It may surprise you to know that the cost of running the Council has reduced from £16.337m to £15.872. The running costs have been assisted by increased revenue from the investment in part of Hailsham High Street and also the Crematorium in Horam, due to be completed during 2018.
So why the increase in Council Tax?. Simply that the grants from Central Government, known as Revenue Support Grant, has been removed as the nation has to balance its books. Wealden’s share of the Council tax is 10.2% of the total charged.
East Sussex County Council
The County Council has a greater challenge given the huge demands on Children's Services and Adult Social Care. Despite cutting £17m from its budget on top of previous deductions, the Council has still had to raise Council Tax by 5.99% -- 2.99% on the General Fund and 3% ring-fenced for Adult Social Care. With the loss of central government funding the challenges for ESCC are considerable with another £30m to save over the next two years. Difficult decisions, such as proposals to close seven libraries, will have to be taken.