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Council tax freeze agreed by county council’s cabinet

County Hall, Chichester

County Hall, Chichester

West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet voted to recommend a freeze on council tax for the fourth year in a row today (Tuesday January 28).

The budget for 2014/15 will now be put to a meeting of the full county council on Friday February 14.

If approved, it will mean the average Band D council taxpayer will continue to pay £1,161.99 for all services delivered by the county council.

This makes up part of a council tax bill with district or borough councils, Sussex Police, and parish councils adding their own precepts.

Michael Brown (Con, Fernhurst), WSCC’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “I am delighted that we will be asking the council to freeze council tax again.

“It means that local taxpayers will be paying the same in council tax until the 31st of March 2015 that they were on April 1st, 2010.

“We recognise that times are hard for many households, and as a council we have a duty to help them if we possibly can.”

Mr Brown added: “At this stage, we have produced a two-year savings plan for both the next financial year and 2015/16 totalling £55 million.

“However, there is a lot of good news in this budget, not least the significant investment of £15 million in improving our unclassified road network with more to follow in 2015/16.

“There is also growth money of £6.25 million for the adults’ budget, and £1.1 million for the National Concessionary Fares scheme to reflect the growth in numbers of people eligible for free bus travel.”

The budget also includes £31.5 million for the Worthing Age of Transfer project, which will also include a new secondary school.

There is also a provisional £54 million for primary and secondary school basic needs projects – allowing schools to expand to help deal with rising pupil numbers.

Louise Goldsmith (Con, Chichester West), leader of WSCC, said: “An enormous amount of work has gone into the budget, we continue to deliver a wide range of services, and in the much needed area of adults services’ are increasing funding to meet growing demands.

“In the future the county council will focus on three key areas - start of life, the economy and later life.

“We know that West Sussex is a great place to live, work and rest and the council has an important role to play in helping to maintain that, which is why we are changing to a commissioning model to meet the demands of our residents for today and tomorrow.”

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