West Sussex County Council reminded residents and businesses this week to have their say on the proposed £61 million savings over the next two years.
The planned savings were laid before the Council at their pre-Christmas meeting on December 19th. Members of all three opposition parties (UKIP, Liberal Democrat and Labour), when asked to have their say, expressed difficulty because of the lack of detail.
And the devil is bound to lie in the detail. So the first question on our lips is how will the amount of savings, or what most people would call cuts, affect the residents of Worthing?
With so many elderly and vulnerable in Worthing, the first thing to note is Adult Social Care & Health Services carry more than half of the cuts to the budget – £32 million over two years. Adding to the confusion is £16 million included in the £32 million savings under the heading ‘Integration Transformation Fund’. The explanation given to this large amount by the Cabinet Member left opposition members scratching their heads in perplexity. More detail is definitely needed there.
Buses are again on the hit list under a review of public transport – £800,000 in 2015-16. What is not clear is how much will be a reduction to services and how much changes to the popular 3 in 1 and concessionary bus passes. Both the young and the elderly are bound to be affected. .
Worthing residents have until next Sunday (January 19th) to make their comments and suggestions on the cuts.
We also suggest they ask for a bit more detail.