New Council budget puts Mid Sussex in a strong position, despite economic challenges

Mid Sussex

Mid Sussex District Council has provided a first look at its Corporate Plan and Budget for 2023/24.

The Council’s Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Deputy Leader, Housing and Customer Service met on Wednesday 11 January 2023 to consider the budget and make recommendations to Cabinet and Full Council.

Each year the Council sets out how it will deliver its services and use its financial resources over the next 12 months. The plan is created in line with the Council’s key priorities; to provide effective and responsive services, create sustainable economic growth, deliver strong and resilient communities, and maintain financial independence.

High levels of inflation continue to pose significant financial challenges for the public sector, private businesses, and residents. However, Mid Sussex District Council is constantly working to protect and enhance its frontline services, within a balanced budget and whilst delivering an ambitious programme of improvement projects.

In 2023/24 Mid Sussex District Council will continue to progress several flagship investment projects including, £1.5 million of improvements in four major parks and play areas, the delivery of more temporary housing and construction of a new Centre for Outdoor Sports to the west of Burgess Hill.

The Council is also proposing to invest in the expansion of its kerbside garden waste collections subscription service. There is currently a waiting list for the popular service and investment would enable an additional 7,500 residents to benefit from fortnightly garden waste collections. There will also be increased capacity for the bulky waste service, helping to tackle fly-tipping.

The Council is proposing modest increases to some fees and charges to help offset the rising cost of providing Council services. Council Tax is recommended to increase by 2.75%, which is £4.95 for an average Band D property. Even with the proposed increase Mid Sussex will remain one of the lowest Council Tax areas in Sussex.

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:

“Residents rightly expect their local Council to deliver high quality services and value for money and that’s what we are focused on delivering in Mid Sussex. Our proposed budget enhances a number of key services, such as expanding the availability of our garden waste and bulky waste services. It also progresses our investment plans for parks, playgrounds, sports facilities, and local infrastructure.

“The high rate of inflation is having a significant impact on our budgets and the costs of delivering projects locally, but our track record of prudent financial management puts us in a strong position compared with many Councils. As a result, while Council Tax will increase, it will do so at a lower level than the Government’s cap, and this budget is our first since the pandemic where we are not having to use reserves to balance the budget.

“We will continue to plan for the long term, invest wisely and focus resources on the priorities of local residents”.

Author: Lisa Thompson
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