Finance figures are misleading at Eastbourne Borough Council

From: Cllr Robert SmartLeader of the Conservative Group of Eastbourne Borough Councillors

Friday, 11th June 2021, 9:53 am

The Deputy Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council continues to mislead your readers through his letter that you published on June 4 click here to read. Amongst a number of quite reasonably sounding words he only refers to two relevant figures:

He states that: “As a result of Covid, our council lost £6m in income from having to close our theatres and cancel all of our conferences [representing] around 60 per cent of our revenue.”

As at the Cabinet meeting last week he makes absolutely no reference to the Income Recovery Grant received from Central Government which has compensated Eastbourne Borough Council for the majority of this net income loss.

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At Full Council in February the Leader of the Council was reported accurately by your newspaper as saying: “They’ve given us not a single penny towards the loss of income.”

This was, and remains, wilfully misleading.

Since then Eastbourne Borough Council has benefited from the additional receipt of a £1.87m Culture Recovery Grant for which officers should be applauded and are working hard to spend. This grant “is intended to ensure that by June 30, successful applicants are operating fully on a viable and sustainable basis”. It is wonderful to see activity opening up in the theatres and elsewhere.

LibDem councillors must stop blaming Covid and the Government for their own inability to balance the books and the presentation of shallow uncosted cuts to services.