EASTBOURNE councillors meet tonight (Wednesday) to discuss the crisis in its budget.

The deficit due to COVID-19 could be as high as £10 million.

Today there is a warning that ‘there needs to be a fundamental reset of the council’s plans, and budgets to respond to this challenging situation.’

The repott before Cabinet, written by Chief Executive Robert Cottrill, makes gloomy reading.

It says: “With its economy largely driven by tourism and leisure services, where the financial impact is the deepest and pace of recovery very slow, the council projects a gap of £10m.”

Ideas put forward include:

  1. Establishing the Workplace 2021 programme, the purposes of which are;
    – Create clarity, direction and structure for staff on the council’s new “reality”.
    – including a blueprint for what we do, how we do it and from where we do it.
    – Implement further efficiencies and take advantage of technology to
    support new ways of working and use of data.
  2. Redesign of the Tourism and Enterprise service to re-shape it in response to current limitations caused by the pandemic.
    3. A review of assets to determine a schedule for retention, transferal and
    /or disposal in line with corporate priorities and future requirements.
    4. Channel shift – increasing the council’s transactional on-line offer to make services more resilient through periods of lockdown, as well as
    increasing efficiency.

They will form the overall Recovery and Reset Programme.