Brighton and Hove City council unveils budget plans

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A local authority has unveiled plans to reduce council tax while cutting its budget by £82m over the next four years.

Brighton and Hove City Council has proposed a 1% reduction, saving the band D taxpayer about £12 a year.

A council spokesman said it hoped to minimise job losses by deleting empty posts, cutting back on agency staff and redeploying affected staff elsewhere.

The council's cabinet will meet on Thursday to agree its budget.

'Financial squeeze'

Councillor Mary Mears, the leader of the Conservative-run council, said the council was looking to save £24m over the next 12 months.

She said: "We face challenging financial times and our aim has been to ensure we are as lean and effective an organisation as possible.

"But through robust financial management we want to help residents in the financial squeeze by reducing council tax and ensuring that we deliver essential services effectively."

Elsewhere, East Sussex County Council estimates up to 200 jobs are under threat as it seeks to save £37m next year.

And up to 1,300 jobs are to be axed at West Sussex County Council as the authority aims to save £79m by 2014.

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