Sussex

East Sussex political leaders write to PM over cuts

East Sussex County Council leader Keith Glazier
Image caption Council leader Keith Glazier said some residents faced a heavy burden

Politicians in East Sussex have raised "concerns" in a letter to the Prime Minister over government funding cuts.

The letter, from all political group leaders at East Sussex County Council (ESCC), said the county faced cuts that would significantly reduce the quality of life for many people.

It comes as the council considers raising council tax by 3.99%, which includes the 2% social care precept.

The government said ESCC's spending power was forecast to grow by 1%.

Conservative-run ESCC said it had saved more than £78m since 2010 but faced a further £70m to £90m savings by April 2019, including £40m from its adult social care budget.

The letter said the government's approach to local government did not reflect the "varying needs" of different areas and East Sussex's ageing population made it particularly vulnerable to cuts.

And it said there would be significant savings in adult social care, withdrawal of early help and support to young people, significant reductions in library services, and reductions in the integrated transport offer.

Council leader Keith Glazier said savings being made would place a heavy burden on some residents.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said: "This government is providing a long-term funding settlement for the first time allowing local authorities to plan with certainty.

"Councils will have almost £200bn to spend on local services, including a £3.5 billion social care package, over the lifetime of this parliament.

"East Sussex County Council core spending power is forecast to increase by 1% and the county will still have over £1.4bn to spend between now and 2020."

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