Eastbourne council pledges ‘zero impact on frontline services’

THE COUNCIL has pledged ‘zero impact on frontline services’ despite suffering the second largest spending cuts in the county.

Eastbourne Borough Council must cut its spending by 6.04 per cent in the next financial year as its most significant Government grant is slashed by 14.63 per cent, according to figures released by communities secretary Eric Pickles. But councillor Gill Mattock, cabinet member for financial services, said the council had already predicted the above-average reduction and will only need to find further 0.6 per cent savings in its draft budget to meet the target.

Cllr Mattock said, “The council suffered the second largest fall in grant in East Sussex and an average drop would have meant no further action as plans are already in place. Most importantly for local residents there will be zero impact on frontline services.

“These are tough times, but I’m delighted the rigour we have placed on preparing the council budget is paying dividends for local people.”

The borough council is still looking to make £100,000 in savings, as its ‘revenue spending power’ is cut by £1.1 million to £17.2 million. The following year it will decrease again to £15.4 million - a 4.3 per cent drop.

Leader of the council, councillor David Tutt, praised the accurate predictions of finance officers, saying, “That stops us having to take knee-jerk actions as many councils have to do. Eastbourne will be setting a budget that will not have an increase in council tax, we will not be drawing on our reserves and we will not be cutting frontline services.”