Funding Crisis to Hit Borough Council Services
Services provided by Hastings Borough Council are expected to be further cut or discontinued following urgent discussions this month.
Council Leader Peter Chowney will be closeted with senior council officers and deputy leader Kim Forward to find more ways of saving money in the face of a £3 million deficit and further reductions in government funding. Over the last eight years, grant funding received from central government, which includes the council’s share of business rates, has reduced from £12 million to less than £4 million. The council has lost over £40 million during this period and its permanent staff has been halved from 600 to 300. Services already cut or discontinued include community development and apprenticeship and training programmes. The street warden team has shrunk from 24 staff to just nine wardens who also do off-street parking.
While the council is legally obliged to perform certain services, the law doesn’t say how often. “One Welsh council has now reduced its bin collection to once a month –but that’s not something I’ll be suggesting to Hastings.” said Mr Chowney who has signed a ‘Councils Against Austerity petition launched by the Labour Party at its conference last month.
In July 2018, East Sussex County Council announced a “core offer’ reducing its level of service to a bare minimum or discontinuing some altogether, in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy.
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