Eastbourne council tax freeze news welcomed

Eastbourne Town Hall

Eastbourne Town Hall

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EASTBOURNE Borough Council has pledged not to increase council tax and not to make cuts to frontline services.

The council say it has planned carefully and is now in a strong financial position, meaning the authority is well placed to deal with the lasting effects of the current economic downturn and a drop in Government funding settlements.

The announcement made at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday night (December 14) comes as a new programme to deliver sustainable services for the future has been given the go ahead.

The Sustainable Service Delivery Strategy Programme will lead to changes within the council which could generate savings of up to £1.6m.

The structure of the organisation will be reviewed to deliver better efficiencies and more staff members will become multi-skilled in line with the council’s Agile Working scheme, which has already seen staff relocated to new offices at 1 Grove Road.

Cllr Troy Tester said, “Delivering key services in the town without having to increase council tax shows that our prudent planning and determination to make Eastbourne Borough Council a modern and efficient organisation is working.”

Cllr Gill Mattock said, “We are delighted to be in a position not to increase our council tax requirement but we must keep pushing for greater efficiency within the council in order to cope with the unprecedented economic challenges we are facing.

“Our Sustainable Service Delivery Strategy Programme will help us achieve this by introducing more structural changes and creating multi-skilled teams to deliver the highest quality services.”

By not raising council tax, the council will receive a one-off grant of £206,000. EBC’s portion of the total council tax bill is 14 per cent.

The rest is made up of East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue. Final budgets will be announced in February 2012.