“Disappointing” government settlement will not hinder the regeneration of the Adur district

Piggy Bank

Adur District Council will continue to drive forward with the regeneration of the area despite receiving a  “disappointing” funding settlement from the government.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has published the details of how much each council will be given in government funds to pay for services next year.

Its published “core spending power” figure for Adur is £10,207,786 for 2024/25, an increase of £450,222 compared to the £9,757,564 earmarked for the district for this year.

However that increase includes the amount that Adur will receive from residents if it puts up council tax by the maximum 3% set by the government. Only £171,971 of the increase represents extra government funding, which is the equivalent of an extra £2.66 per person in Adur.

The council continues to see an increasing number of residents coming to it for help with housing because they would otherwise be homeless. This includes around 100 households who are having to be housed outside of the district because of a lack of available properties for them.

To address this, Adur is building new council homes on a string of former garage compounds and car parks in Sompting, Lancing, Shoreham, Southwick and Fishersgate as well as in Albion Street, Southwick.

It is also working with Worthing Borough Council to secure extra temporary accommodation for locals, reducing the amount it has to spend on more expensive properties like B&Bs.

Cllr Angus Dunn, Adur’s deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, said: “I’m disappointed by the limited increase in funding we’ve been given by the government for next year, but we are prepared.

“This year, despite the impact of inflation and rising costs that are out of our control, we have balanced the budget without needing to dip into our reserves. We have been planning with the expectation that we would not see a large increase in government funding so will be able to continue providing the services that our communities need and value.

“The funding settlement does not help our longer-term plans for the district but it will not prevent us from delivering our ambitious programme of improvements for our residents.”

The council is facing tight financial restrictions caused by a reduction in central government funding and increasing pressure outside of its control from inflation and cost of living challenges, like every other local authority in the country.

It is continuing to prioritise its spending through new tighter controls on expenditure, making savings in staffing and resources, and postponing or cancelling some less vital work in favour of funding frontline services for the community.

In 2023/24, on average just £324 of the council tax paid on a Band D home in Adur will go to the district council – the equivalent of £6.23 per week – to fund services including waste and recycling collection, support for the most vulnerable and the maintenance of parks, open spaces and the shore.

 

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