Cuts will bite deep warns leader

Keith Glazier Rye SUS-140906-120111001
Keith Glazier Rye SUS-140906-120111001

People will feel the difference when cuts come warns East Sussex County Council leader Keith Glazier.

Addressing a meeting of Rye Town Council on Monday, Cllr Glazier levelled criticism at the Government’s new funding arrangements for local authorities.

He said he had written to Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, outlining how cuts were likely to affect people.

He said: “Cabinet at East Sussex County Council has been putting together the budget since before Christmas.

“We need to save 20 million this year and £90 million over the next three years.

“When the announcement of the new funding arrangements came, we were £2 million worse off than we thought we would be.

“Therefore we are increasing our council tax for adult care by two percent. The two percent is on top of the 1.99 percent increase we had already built in.

“It will raise £4.7 million, which goes some way, but nowhere near enough.”

“The two percent increase will be confirmed at the February 9 meeting.

“We will have spent all of our £6 million contingency by the end of the year. It is an enormous task.

“I wrote a letter to the prime Minister outlining how hard the effect of the cuts we will have to make will be, but we have had no response from Government as yet.

“Here we are, a few months before budget, still not knowing from Government what our final grant will be. Could a business or industry work on that basis? I doubt it very much.

“The people of East Sussex will notice a difference when the cuts come.”

At the meeting, Cllr Glazier was asked by a member of the public how the county council would be working with other health organisations to meet what is going to be a growing demand for social care.

He replied: “Things are improving in that area. It is now much more joined-up with single line management and working together.”

Proposals to cut £40 million from adult social care services were published in October last year. While some are set to go ahead, others have been dropped.

Autism Sussex, based in Battle, is set to lose £20,000 for job coaches to help people obtain practical and social skills for potential employment.

It will, though, keep £5,000 for an online group support forum that it runs.

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