West Sussex sees central funding slashed

AFTER complaining for years of being under-funded by the last Labour government, budget-slashing West Sussex County Council is again financially “floored” – this time by the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition.

This was reported to county councillors by Richard Hornby, executive director finance and performance, who said the present government’s core funding for all services (except schools) had been cut by 14.3 per cent for 2011/12, compared with a 1.5 per cent increase in 2010/11.

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“We are again on the grant ‘floor’ in 2011/12, with the reduction in grant the equal worst of any county council,” Mr Hornby told members of the council’s strategic environmental services select committee.

“This is the ninth year in a row we have been a ‘floor authority’,” he said, also explaining: “Part of the reason we have the maximum grant cut is that government has identified West Sussex as not very reliant on Formula Grant.

“In effect, the fact that we have suffered low funding for a number of years has contributed to the county being identified for the worst grant cuts in 2011/12,” he said.