Sussex

East Sussex County Council: 'Fairer government funding' plea

Online video campaign Image copyright East Sussex County Council
Image caption The campaign asks residents for their help to get East Sussex a fairer funding deal

A Conservative-controlled council has warned of "real hardship" if the needs of its residents are not taken into account by the government.

East Sussex County Council has launched an online video campaign seeking fairer government funding.

"Stand Up For East Sussex" asks residents to sign a petition to the Prime Minister demanding an urgent intervention over public services.

Savings of £58m are due to be made by 2021 under current council plans.

Since 2010 the council has made savings of £112m, enough, it said, to meet the yearly costs of caring for 5,600 vulnerable people or to repair two million potholes.

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The petition calls on the government to help East Sussex do more to build on its successes, citing good or outstanding ratings at more than nine out of 10 primary schools and progress in integrating health and social care, enabling more vulnerable people to live at home.

It warns that the county already has a high elderly population, wages below the national average, few large firms to boost its business rates and a poor transport network.

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Media captionEast Sussex County Council launches Stand Up campaign

Analysis: Helen Catt, BBC South East Today Political Editor

It's a tactic you would expect from the opposition.

But as Theresa May and her cabinet focus on unity and how she intends to build a "country that works for everyone", this is another Tory council which is telling her that it just doesn't.

Quite apart from launching its campaign slap-bang in the middle of party conference, East Sussex County Council is also using the method the Conservatives currently fear most: social media.

All in all, it feels like a pretty hard-ball approach from a council that's only just come back into Conservative control.


Council leader Keith Glazier said it had "reached the point where national support for East Sussex has shrivelled to harmfully-low levels".

"We're only 50 miles from Westminster but sometimes it feels as though the needs of the people who live and work here are out of sight.

"It's fair that we play our part in reducing national public spending even when that involves some very tough decisions.

"But a genuinely fair deal for our county would allow us and our partners to make real improvements to people's lives," he said.

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