Council includes significant investments in 2023/24 budget

- 06/03/2023

Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) approved its Corporate Plan and Budget for 2023/24 at a meeting of Full Council on Wednesday 1 March 2023.

The current high levels of inflation present considerable financial challenges for the public sector, just as they do for private businesses and household budgets. Mid Sussex District Council has worked hard to maintain financial stability and attract investment into the District; a prudent financial approach that has helped to protect frontline services, fund ambitious new projects and maintain one of the lowest levels of Council Tax in Sussex.

Each year the Council sets out how it will deliver its services and use its financial resources over the next 12 months. The plan is created in line with the Council’s key priorities; to provide effective and responsive services, create sustainable economic growth, deliver strong and resilient communities, and maintain financial independence.

In 2023/24 Mid Sussex District Council will continue to progress several key investment projects including, improvements in four major parks and play areas, the delivery of more temporary housing and construction of a new Centre for Outdoor Sports to the west of Burgess Hill.

The Council will invest in the expansion of its kerbside garden waste collections subscription service, enabling more people to conveniently recycle their green waste. There is currently a waiting list for the popular service and investment would enable an additional 7,500 residents to benefit from fortnightly garden waste collections. The capacity of the bulky waste service will also be increased, helping to tackle fly-tipping.

The budget includes increases to some fees and charges to help offset the rising cost of providing Council services. Council Tax will increase by 2.75%, which is £4.95 for an average Band D property, but which is a lower increase than permitted by the Government’s cap.

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:

“The past few years have been extremely tough financially, with first the Covid-19 pandemic and now the inflationary shock having a significant impact on all organisations, not just local Government.

“Our council has spent millions of pounds since 2020 to keep our key services going, particularly our much-valued leisure centres. However, now is a time we can be positive about the future because, through careful decision making and sound financial management, this is the first budget post covid where we’re not having to draw on reserves to support our day-to-day work.

“We are delivering a budget where Council Tax rises by less than the Government’s cap, that includes additional support for people on low incomes and continues to invest in our local services.

“This year we’re investing in our waste and recycling service by increasing the number our bulky and garden waste collections we provide for our residents. We are also helping people who fall on hard times to get back on their feet through our homelessness prevention work and by building new temporary accommodation at Swan Mead in East Grinstead.

“Work to build our new Centre for Outdoor Sport in Burgess Hill is due to start later this year. It represents the biggest investment in outdoor sports for a generation and will deliver modern community sports facilities for the whole community to enjoy.

“Finally, we will be working to improve our flagship parks across the district. These beautiful open spaces in the heart of our communities mean so much to local people and we are investing in their future to ensure they remain a wonderful place for our residents to visit.

“I’m delighted that the budget was unanimously approved by Councillors on a cross-party basis.”