Issue 17 January 2020

Matters

Corporate Plan and Budget 2020/21

CalculatorWork to approve our 2020/21 Corporate Plan and Budget continues to progress. Draft proposals were formally considered by our Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance on Wednesday 15 January and once again the focus is on supporting the local economy, the protection of frontline services and investment in community facilities.

The financial outlook facing local government continues to be challenging. Over the past 10 years, the Revenue Support Grant we receive from Central Government has reduced massively from £6.4 million to zero. To bridge the financial gap we must continue to maintain a tight control over costs, generate our own income and find cost effective ways of delivering local services.

In the 2020/21 Budget proposals, the Mid Sussex element of Council Tax is proposed to rise by £4.95 in order for the council to keep up with inflation. The cost of our optional Garden Waste Collection Service will rise from £65 to £70 per year and there will be a slight increase to the fees we charge for pre-application planning advice.

We will continue to invest throughout the District during 2020/21, delivering some of our most ambitious projects to date.

We're accelerating the roll out of full fibre internet by installing spine network in Burgess Hill that is capable of speeds over 1 gigabit per second. This network will dramatically improve internet connectivity in the town and provide access points for neighbouring towns and villages to tap into. This essential digital infrastructure will provide a huge boost for the local economy, transform public services and provide numerous opportunities for local residents.

Work will be carried out to update and modernise equipment at six local playgrounds, we will be purchasing additional temporary accommodation to help local families avoid homelessness and we're at the start of a three year project to modernise and regenerate The Orchards shopping centre in Haywards Heath. We will also be providing a network of electric vehicle charging points at town and village locations across Mid Sussex to encourage residents, businesses and visitors to switch to electric powered transport.

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West Sussex County Council is reminding residents that they need to take ID with them when they visit a West Sussex Household Waste Recycling Site (HWRS).

The new system is designed to save West Sussex taxpayers £250,000 per year by ensuring the sites are only used by those who pay for them.

Householders will need to prove they live within West Sussex by showing a form of ID such as a drivers licence or council tax bill.

The scheme has been introduced due to the high number of people travelling across county boundaries to recycle and dispose of their waste. This has a significant impact on waste disposal costs which ultimately fall to the West Sussex taxpayer.

Surveys have shown that an average of one in ten people using HWRSs closest to the county borders live outside of West Sussex.

At East Grinstead, this can increase to as many as one in five people. Residents in certain areas of Surrey will be able to continue using the East Grinstead Household Waste Recycling Site, following an agreement between Surrey and West Sussex County Councils. All other sites in West Sussex are restricted to West Sussex residents only.

Further details about the changes can be found when visiting HWRSs and at www.recycleforwestsussex.org/