Have your say on proposals to balance council budget
Anyone who lives or works in Hastings is encouraged to have their say on Hastings Borough Council's budget proposals for 2024/25.
The council is facing a serious financial situation with the cost of temporary accommodation continuing to rise dramatically and difficult decisions will need to be taken to try to balance the council's budget.
The budget consultation is happening earlier than usual this year to allow time for savings to be identified and implemented before the start of the 2024/25 financial year.
The proposals detail how the council will save £4m next year including moving to more shared services with other councils and organisations to help reduce staffing costs and improve resilience and capacity.
To help residents have their say and find out more, there will be an open event at Stade Hall on Tuesday 28 November from 1pm to 7pm where people can speak to councillors and council officers about the budget proposals.
Cllr Paul Barnett, leader of the council, said: "Even though we have to save £4m next year, I am determined to protect frontline services like housing, street cleaning and parks, so the focus will be big savings in our back office costs. We are starting this consultation earlier than usual this year so we can make sure the decisions are implemented for the start of the financial year and ensure savings are fully made. We usually ask for comments on an updated corporate plan when we discuss the budget, but this year we need to make the budget decisions before we can commit to an updated corporate plan.
"We will continue to talk to the government about additional support for our increasing housing costs, but while these conversations are on-going, we have to make difficult decisions to ensure we can balance our budget without additional financial support.
"We are not proposing to spend council reserves to balance the budget. Recent events have shown that we need to have money for emergencies, so we will be working hard to balance the budget without spending our reserves.
"I would encourage all residents to read the details of our budget proposals and to let us know what you think. If you have questions, please come along to our public event and talk to councillors and council officers about the proposals."
You can read the full documents online and have your say through the online consultation or by email: email@example.com. The consultation is open until 12 noon on Friday 1 December. Comments will be summarised and included within the meeting reports for Cabinet and Full Council to discuss. Please make sure you have read the proposals before you go to complete the form.
The proposals will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting on Monday 4 December and then Full Council on Wednesday 13 December. There will be further budget meetings in February to confirm the level of council tax and to make any changes that are needed after the December meetings. You will be able to watch these meetings online.