County councillors to scrutinise budget plans

Plans to cut £140m from the county council’s budget will be on the agenda when councillors scrutinise budget proposals for the next financial year.

The Performance and Finance Select Committee will meet at 10.30am at County Hall, Chichester, on Thursday (January 23).

Deborah Urquhart, the committee chairwoman, said members would also review the authority’s freeze on council tax.

She added that “major changes” would be made in the way the council delivered services and added: “It is another very difficult budget for the council coming against a backdrop of further cuts in Government grant.

“It also marks the first year of a new four-year savings plan, and there are some difficult decisions ahead for the authority, and major changes in the way that it delivers services.

“The budget does include provision for a freeze in council tax for a fourth year in a row, and this is another aspect that I am sure members will want to look at as part of our considerations.

“Our role will be to go through the details of what is currently being proposed and agree any comments or issues we want the council’s cabinet to consider when it meets on January 28 to finalise its budget recommendations.”

A final decision on the budget and council tax for 2014/15 will be taken at a full council meeting on February 14.