YOUR council tax will rise from April 1.

Yesterday, members of East Sussex County Council signed off the authority’s budget for 2022/23, with a cross-party amendment defeated by the majority Conservative group.

The agreed budget includes both a 1.99 per cent increase to the authority’s share of council tax and an extra 2.5 per cent added to its adult social care precept. These mean a total increase of £69 per year for a Band D household.

Nick Bennett, Conservative lead member for resources and climate change, said these rises were intended to ensure the council was well-prepared in the face of significant uncertainty in the years ahead.

He said: “Asking people to pay more council tax for services is never welcome, particularly when this adds to household bills. We would not do so if we didn’t think it was completely necessary. 

“By asking residents to pay an increase, we can prepare for the future and make sure we are in the best position to continue to provide vital services as we come out of the pandemic and work towards implementing national change agendas, particularly around adult social care, charging reform and children’s services.

“While the short term picture looks positive, we are mindful that future funding is uncertain and already know we are likely to face a £10m funding gap by 2025. 

“This is why we need to make decisions now to ensure we are ready for the challenges ahead. 

“The reserves we hold provide some mitigation to these risks and the level of reserves we hold are projected to be £91.7m by March 2026, with only £25m unallocated or held on behalf of others. Compared to our gross budget of £920m, this is not an excessive amount.”