Council leader hits out at lack of government funding as fresh tax rise looms

Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council
Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council
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A COUNCIL leader has given a stark warning to the government, saying vital services will be at risk if more funding isn’t pumped into local authorities.

Councillor Louise Goldsmith, West Sussex County Council’s leader, appealed to Whitehall to take a ‘long-term view’ on funding councils.

Her message comes as the authority recommended a further one per cent rise in council tax.

The extra one per cent was offered by government. If agreed at February’s next full council meeting, it would bring the total tax rise for residents in 2018/19 to 4.95 per cent

Cllr Goldsmith said: ‘It is wrong for us, and county councils across the country, to continue to have to be reliant on taxing our residents in the current piecemeal way every year to attempt to plug the gap left by central government.’

She added the government slashed the council’s budget by 30 per cent while demand was rising and said it was ‘time the government supported them properly’.