01/02/2017 - Mid Sussex News – County Council Edition
The Labour Party offers a positive, responsible alternative to the Conservative-led Town, District and County Councils.
The Labour Party keeps you informed throughout the year.
Labour — Putting West Sussex First
After the May 2015 Mid Sussex District Council elections, all except one elected representative at District and County levels are Conservatives—and that one is an independent who was elected as a Conservative.
This means virtually no opposition to the Tories, no-one holding them to account, no scrutiny. They are free to take their decisions unopposed. This is not good for democracy and certainly not good for people in Mid Sussex.
Our local authorities must be held to account.
We need a voice and representation that understands the real needs and concerns of local people. At the next County Council elections in May 2017, Labour will provide that voice.
The impact is felt acutely in Social Care, where continuing cuts leave the elderly vulnerable—see our story inside.
Labour is the only positive, responsible alternative
County councillors and who they represent
West Sussex is composed of 7 districts. Voters in these 7 districts elect 70 county ouncillors, one for every electoral division in the district:
- Adur District – 5 councillors
- Arun District – 13 councillors
- Chichester District – 10 councillors
- Crawley Borough – 9 councillors
- Horsham District – 12 councillors
- Mid Sussex District – 12 councillors
- Worthing Borough – 9 councillors
West Sussex County Council……..
- is the ultimate decision-making body and the principal forum for major political debate and meets six times a year
- takes decisions on key policy plans, questions members of the Cabinet, debates major pieces of work by Select Committees and notices of motion
- appoints the Leader who decides the composition and areas of competence of the Cabinet, to which responsibility is delegated for carrying out many of the County Council's existing policies
- appoints four Select Committees (Children and Young People’s services, Health and Adult Social Care, Environmental and Community Services, and Performance and Finance) which examine and review decisions and actions of the Cabinet and Cabinet Members, as well as some non-Executive committees and a Standards Committee
- has eight members selected from the Conservative majority
- proposes the key policy decisions of the Council, which are then ratified by the whole County Council
- Each cabinet member has a portfolio of work for which they take personal responsibility.
The County Council is responsible for services such as:
- Adult Social Care & Health – covering getting care, keeping healthy, child and adult abuse or neglect
- Children – childcare and early education, and keeping children safe
- Corporate Relations i.e. Human Resources and Information Technology
- Education - including school places, travel and meals
- Finance, including economic development
- Highways & Transport – maintaining roads, road safety, parking as well as travel and public transport
- Resident Services, including Fire & Rescue service, preparing for and dealing with emergencies as well as waste and recycling issues
It also spends money on Corporate Services:
- Capital Financing – for large scale purchases
- • Contingency – money aside in case of unexpected need
The council does not actually deliver these services through its own workforce. In the main West Sussex buys these services from private firms.
WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Some of your council tax is wasted by topping up private firms’ profits.
The council justifies its approach on the grounds of efficiency and saving money, so it can keep council tax down. Don’t be fooled. It is using your money to pay private firms who must make a profit. So part of your council tax goes to a firm, instead of providing a service to you.
Social care – continuing cuts leave the elderly vulnerable
The County Council’s provision for social care is deteriorating. And yet it has a duty to provide support to those in need:
- 22,025 people received social care from West Sussex in 2009
- 13,150 people received social care from West Sussex in 2014
- That’s a 40% reduction between 2009 and 2014
- And of the 14,055 people who requested social care in 2015/2016, 11,340 received nothing at all from West Sussex.
Source: Leonard Cheshire Disabilities Trust
That means that 81% of requests were denied social care last year.
This was despite more people needing help because of an ageing population.
This is unacceptable and the council must be held to account.
Only Labour can provide the real opposition our towns need.
What Labour in West Sussex stands for
Labour will work for you and your families by:
- Protecting adult and social services
- Providing children with a sure start in life and restoring adequate support to Youth Services
- Encouraging a healthier life style
- Ensuring all children have the same opportunity of a great education and opposing the forced ‘Academisation’ of our schools
- Tackling road and transport issues and repairing the deteriorating footpaths
- Providing a safe environment
- Reducing the outsourcing of the provision of services to private firms, who make profits at ratepayers’ expense
- Reversing the cuts in Household Waste and Recycling Sites