East Sussex jobs and services to go in £60m cuts

Keith Glazier Councillor Keith Glazier said the council's financial position was becoming more difficult

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Up to 100 jobs could be cut at East Sussex County Council under plans to save £60m over three years.

The number of refuges for people suffering domestic violence will be cut from five to four as part of cuts discussed by the council's cabinet.

After-school clubs and play schemes for disabled children could also close but council tax will be frozen in the financial year 2013/2014.

The council will protect services that meet its highest priorities, it said.

But it said there would be a reduction in support to schools identified as requiring improvement and adult social care budgets.

Vulnerable families

Councillors discussed the cuts on Tuesday but will not make the final decision on next year's budget until February.

The council said its strategy was to invest in projects to save money in the longer term - for example building better roads to cut down on pot-hole repairs.

It wants to target children's social care services on the most vulnerable families to reduce the need to take children into care further down the line.

"Continuing to do things the way we always had was not sustainable," said deputy leader of the Conservative-led council, Keith Glazier.

Refuges for people suffering domestic violence could be cut to four as part of the council cuts

"There were more and more children coming into our care and in the long run that wasn't good for them or good for us or for the taxpayers of East Sussex."

NSPCC spokesman David Tucker said earlier intervention was a sensible option.

"It has the potential to reduce cost but it is also better for the children," he said.

"What children need is permanence and they need that decision made at an earlier stage.

"For a small number of children care is the right option but there are a whole range of other permanent options, such as adoption."

The council said it had identified its priorities for the coming year within the limits of council tax revenue, grants from central government and the current "extreme pressures" in the economy.

"If we thought it was difficult before it is getting more difficult," said Mr Glazier. "We really have to deliver the figures.

"If some of these decisions seem unpalatable I would urge people to try and identify where they think we could make savings."

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