Council to discuss proposals to save £141m over next four years

Exhibition at Crawley Library
Exhibition at Crawley Library

West Sussex County Council is set to decide how it plans to cut £141m more from its budget over the next four years.

On Friday (December 13)councillors will debate proposals put forward by the performance and finance select committee and cabinet member for finance.

Depending on the annual settlement from the Government, the possible savings required by 2017/18 range from £101.2m to £165.1m.

The £141m figure assumes a freeze in council tax up to 2018, a policy the council favours.

For the first two years it aims to save nearly £61.7m, including £32m in adult social care and health, £5.58m in the children and start of life portfolio and £4.826m in residents’ services, which includes Trading Standards, West Sussex Fire and Rescue and libraries.

The council’s report shows some of the cuts are raised by deleting vacant posts and rearranging back office staffing. In others, the council says it will be reviewing which services it provides. The day centre held at Maidenbower Community Centre will be looked at if the proposals go ahead.

An exhibition held at Crawley Library on Thursday (December 5) displayed the cuts proposed and people were given PostIt notes to stick to the boards with their comments and concerns.

All comments were anonymous and will be put to councillors at Friday’s meeting.

There were suggestions to raise council tax, but Cllr Bob Lanzer (Con, Maidenbower) pointed out that a one per cent council tax increase would only raise £3.5m.

Other comments included: “Closing youth centres is short-sighted. It may lead to more trouble for the police with young people hanging about with nothing to do.”

Another said: “Fine employers for underpaying wages”

On stated: “Lots of words but no substance as to how these things will be achieved.”

In relation to giving children the best start in life one said: “Bring back courses for plumbers and carpenters etc so normal kids can get a job.”

The meeting, held in County Hall Chichester, starts at 10.30am and is open to the public and is also webcast. To view it online go to