East Sussex County Council leader sea over budget cuts

As a council discussed ways to slash £60 million from its budget over the next three years its leader was on a luxury cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

As it looks to balance the books in the wake of Government cuts, East Sussex County Council predicts between 80 and 100 posts could be lost in the next year.

While bosses said they are working towards a council tax freeze for 2013/14, children’s and adult care services will be hit the hardest.

Council chiefs said they were committed to driving economic growth, help ing people live independently and protecting vulnerable people from harm.

But opposition councillors predicted uproar and slammed some of the plans as “totally unachievable”.

Keith Glazier, the council’s deputy leader, described it as a “first attempt” at making the savings, adding: “This is the start of a consultation process. It is a big amount of money but it’s important to remember that we will still spend £496 million providing services.”

Coun Glazier told The Argus grass cutting, weed spraying and winter maintenance budgets would “not be cut” in the next three years.

He added the figure for the exact savings for this year was still a “guesstimate” until the Government’s autumn statement announcement in mid-December.

Tax freeze

Central to the budget will be a council tax freeze, which will earn the local authority a one-off Government grant of £2.4 million.

However, over the rest of the three years budgets will have to be reduced by up to 20% as Whitehall cuts hit.

Among the services which could be affected will be children’s centres, home-help for elderly people and after-school clubs.

The local authority said it would continue to support the rollout of superfast broadband in rural areas, build the Bexhill to Hastings link road; and regenerate Eastbourne town centre and Newhaven.

Liberal Democrat group leader David Tutt suggested the local authority use some if its reserves to “prop up budgets” in the short-term until millions of savings through working with other councils were achieved.

The final decision will be made at the council’s budget meeting in February.

Council leader Peter Jones was not at the meeting as he was on the Cunard-operated Queen Mary 2.

Information on the firm’s website said it was docked in Lisbon as part of a 12-day Atlantic trip with balcony cabins costing up to £3,750.

When asked if he felt it was appropriate, Coun Jones said: “I’m retiring from the post soon and Coun Glazier as been selected as a successor. It’s extremely appropriate that he should lead the setting of the budget.

“He has responsibility for the finance portfolio and will be leader of the full council in a few months’ time.”

For more details email budget.consultation@eastsussex.gov.uk or call 0345 60 80 190.

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Comments (5)

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3:27pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Andy R says...

In Brighton and Hove this is known as "doing a Mears".
In Brighton and Hove this is known as "doing a Mears". Andy R

9:51pm Wed 14 Nov 12

HJarrs says...

The fact that the council leader was on holiday is irrelevant. These are savage cuts brought about but a Tory government and actively pursued by compliant Tory councillors. The only way to change this is to vote the Tories out.

If the council leader had been a Green, this comments column would have had a hundred negative comments. Not that I am accusing most of the commentors to the Argus as politically motivated and biased, oh no.
The fact that the council leader was on holiday is irrelevant. These are savage cuts brought about but a Tory government and actively pursued by compliant Tory councillors. The only way to change this is to vote the Tories out. If the council leader had been a Green, this comments column would have had a hundred negative comments. Not that I am accusing most of the commentors to the Argus as politically motivated and biased, oh no. HJarrs

9:25am Thu 15 Nov 12

whereisthe...? says...

Peter Jones is a TORY. Surprise surprise - and also, YET AGAIN - the Argus shows its true colours by BURYING this. NOWHERE does it state that fact, and only mentions him at the end!!!


Similar stories appear often, yet EVERY TIME I have to google search to see what party the person belongs to - unless they are being celebrated. Yet THEY ONLY DO THIS WHEN ITS A TORY!!!!!!! SHAMEFUL.
Peter Jones is a TORY. Surprise surprise - and also, YET AGAIN - the Argus shows its true colours by BURYING this. NOWHERE does it state that fact, and only mentions him at the end!!! Similar stories appear often, yet EVERY TIME I have to google search to see what party the person belongs to - unless they are being celebrated. Yet THEY ONLY DO THIS WHEN ITS A TORY!!!!!!! SHAMEFUL. whereisthe...?

9:50am Thu 15 Nov 12

Dealing with idiots says...

HJarrs wrote:
The fact that the council leader was on holiday is irrelevant. These are savage cuts brought about but a Tory government and actively pursued by compliant Tory councillors. The only way to change this is to vote the Tories out. If the council leader had been a Green, this comments column would have had a hundred negative comments. Not that I am accusing most of the commentors to the Argus as politically motivated and biased, oh no.
and who spent all the money leaving nothing for a rainy day? Labour. Short memory HJ.
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: The fact that the council leader was on holiday is irrelevant. These are savage cuts brought about but a Tory government and actively pursued by compliant Tory councillors. The only way to change this is to vote the Tories out. If the council leader had been a Green, this comments column would have had a hundred negative comments. Not that I am accusing most of the commentors to the Argus as politically motivated and biased, oh no.[/p][/quote]and who spent all the money leaving nothing for a rainy day? Labour. Short memory HJ. Dealing with idiots

5:24pm Sun 18 Nov 12

keeshond8 says...

Peter Jones missed out on being selected as PCC candidate by The Conservatives for a number of very good reasons. I think he may have lost to the Independent candidate had he stood, such is the obvious contempt in which he has held voters during most of his time in office. I hope he end his greedy wife, who has lost one parliamentary seat and had to step down from the other, enjoy the rest of their cruise.....after what he did to the people of Newhaven, that would be in dry dock.
Peter Jones missed out on being selected as PCC candidate by The Conservatives for a number of very good reasons. I think he may have lost to the Independent candidate had he stood, such is the obvious contempt in which he has held voters during most of his time in office. I hope he end his greedy wife, who has lost one parliamentary seat and had to step down from the other, enjoy the rest of their cruise.....after what he did to the people of Newhaven, that would be in dry dock. keeshond8

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