West Sussex County Council increase council tax

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Clockwise from top left, Hayley North, Helene Birt, Hilary Ward and James Cowlishaw outside court

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AN AUTHORITY has increased council tax by nearly four per cent as it looks to deal with a cut in funding of £44.2m.

West Sussex County Council has agreed its budget for 2016/17 during a full council meeting held last week.

A plan to fill a £44.2m gap in funding was approved, including a 3.95 per cent increase in council tax. The increase will generate an extra £14.5m a year for the council and equates to an extra 88 pence per week for the average household.

Jeremy Hunt, cabinet member for finance, said: ‘The council tax increase has not been put forward lightly.

‘However, despite budgeting for a steep cut in funding from government, the settlement we received was worse than expected. We still find ourselves faced with an extremely tight budget.’