May 31, 2012
Eastbourne Borough Council has delivered improvements across several key services despite a major cut in Government funding.
In a report to Cabinet, members heard how the council has achieved a budget underspend of £126,000 without any cuts to front line services.
The news comes despite a £1.3m cut in Government funding in the year 2011/12, and an expected cut of nearly £800,000 in the current financial year.
It is the third year running that the council has reported a strong financial position, creating a solid foundation for the significant challenges ahead. All services were either maintained or improved.
In February, the authority announced there would be no increase in its council tax requirement for the second year in a row.
The council has introduced a number of schemes to deliver greater efficiencies including Agile Working, an innovative award-winning project that has seen staff from move from 68 Grove Road to ultra-modern flexible offices at 1 Grove Road.
Cllr Gill Mattock, portfolio holder for financial services, said: “In the face of stinging Government cuts we have still managed to do so much more than simply balance the books.
“In many areas we have actually strengthened council services, all without making any cuts to front line services or adding a penny to our council tax requirement, and that is a testament to our management team who have met and exceeded the tough challenges we as the administration set out.
“Through prudent planning and the introduction of some pioneering projects such as Agile Working, we have a solid base to enable us to cope with the continuing economic downturn and the challenges of national austerity measures.”
Cabinet agreed the report at its meeting on Wednesday night which detailed how the council has met key priority actions and indicators set out in the Corporate Plan. A budget of £15.7m for the current financial year was approved in February which is down from £16m in 2011/12 and £18.4m in 2010/11.