MORE than £5.1 million is to be cut from public services after a controversial budget was agreed for 2019/20.

Conservative-controlled East Sussex County Council will raise council tax by 2.99 per cent and find £5.13 million of savings.

Deputy leader David Elkin said: “This needs saying loud and clear.

“In proposing this budget, cabinet are very aware it requires some difficult decisions which will have an impact in our communities.

“We regret having to budget these proposals but they are necessary due to reducing funding and increasing costs.

“To our residents and communities, I say, we will continue to stand up for East Sussex to be a voice to represent you and your interests  and focus our attention on the services local people most need in the county.”

These are where the cuts will fall:

l Communities, economy and transport – £2.34 million. This includes a rise in parking charges across the county.

l Children’s services – £1.049 million. Schools learning and effectiveness service will lose £849,000.

l East Sussex archives and records service £32,000.

l Conservation projects in the Ashdown Forest £31,000.

l Amount spent on elderly and disabled people’s bus passes £200,000.

l Environmental advice service £15,000.

l Household waste service £150,000.

l Adult social care – £730,000, including the removal of its entire meals on wheels subsidy, and cuts of some £247,000 in its nursing and residential services.

l Business services – £1.003 million.

The Conservative proposals were adopted following a majority vote, with a Labour amendment – to reduce the cuts by £1.138 million through reserves – defeated despite support from some independent members.

The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, declined to either put forward amendments or back either the Conservative or Labour budget proposals.

The group instead argued the council should not pass any budgets in a protest against the level of cuts from central government.

Liberal Democrat leader David Tutt said: “I honestly believe if we vote for this budget, it is a betrayal of our responsibility to the people who elected us to represent them.

“I think the time has come where we collectively need to stand up to government and say this is not doable any more.”