The West Sussex Budget Challenge

Closed 13 Jan 2019

Opened 17 Dec 2018

Feedback updated 5 Apr 2019

We asked

We asked you to tell us how well informed you felt about the way the Council manages its budget and the type budget-related challenges the council is facing, and whether or not you felt you received enough information about these.

We also asked for your ideas on how we might generate income to help protect as many of our services as possible. 


You said

We received 720 responses to our survey.  The key findings are listed below: 

96% of respondents either agreed (61%) or strongly agreed (35%) with the statement ‘I am interested in the budget decisions made by the Council’.

27% of respondents had previously taken part in our ‘What Matters To You?’ survey - the survey which helps to inform decisions around budget setting and Council Tax levels.

When asked to indicate ‘How informed are you about the challenges the Council faces in balancing the budget?’ on a scale of 1-10 (where 1= not at all informed and 10= very well informed), 46% of respondents indicated a score of 5 or less, whereas 55% indicated a score between 6-10, although the highest number of respondents indicating a 7 (16%). 

Using the same scale (where 1= not at all informed and 10= very well informed), when asked ‘How well informed do you feel about the Council's budget proposals for 2019/2020?’ 72% gave a lower end score of 5 or less, with the highest number of respondents (17%) indicating a score of 3.  16% indicated a score of 1.

70% of respondents either agreed (52%) or strongly agreed (18%) with the statement, ‘I understand the scale of savings that the Council still has to make to their budget over the next few years’.

92% either agreed (47%) or strongly agreed (45%) with the statement   ‘I am aware the Council has received a significant drop in its funding’.

66% indicated they either agreed (49%) or strongly agreed (17%) with the statement ‘I read the information I received about budget spending in my Council Tax letter for 2018/19

55% indicated they received ‘not nearly enough’ information about the Budget, whereas 44% indicated ‘About the right amount of information, and just under 1% indicated ‘Too much information’.

We did

As a result of this survey, we have strengthened our efforts to keep our businesses and residents informed of budget-related information, particularly in relation to the 2019/20 budget.  We have increased our digital and traditional marketing efforts and the way we present our information, including a refresh of the council tax leaflet.

We are currently processing and considering all the ideas and suggestions made in relation to how we might save money or generate income to help protect as many of our services as possible. 



Local authorities across the country face unprecedented financial pressures and West Sussex County Council is no exception. This has happened because the amount of money we receive from central government to fund services has fallen dramatically over the last eight years. The challenge ahead is tough.  We face some stark choices over the next four years as we have a funding gap of £145 million (before we take into account money raised through council tax).

We need to find innovative ways to generate income and protect as many of our services as possible but the reality is that we simply can't carry doing all the things we have done, in the same way. We want to keep you informed of what is happening, and be open and honest about what we have to do. 

Please complete this survey to tell how much you know about our budget challenge.  This will help us to provide you with relevant information and updates in the future.  The survey should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.

If you are interested in finding out more, please don’t forget to sign up for further updates at the end of the survey. Thank you

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact us on 01243 777100  or via email at If you are deaf or hard of hearing and have an NGT texting app installed on your computer, laptop or smartphone you can contact us on 18001 01243 777100.


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