West Sussex County Council news - Covid-19, vaccines, testing and the budget
COVID-19 local update
Rates of COVID-19 are continuing to fall in all areas of West Sussex but it's really important we continue to follow lockdown restrictions and stop the spread. Anyone can catch and spread coronavirus. Act like you have it and keep West Sussex safe.
In the seven days to Saturday 6 February there were 1,384 new cases. This is 160.2 per 100,000 population.
The latest data indicates there have been 38,354 cases so far in West Sussex, as at Thursday 11 February 2021. In cases among those aged 60+, in the seven days to Saturday 6 February there were 357 new cases.
You can get further information on the infection rates in your area by visiting https://bit.ly/3ql7q2
If you think you may have any coronavirus symptoms, isolate immediately and book a test. There is availability at your local walk or drive-through sites that may be closer than you think.
You can book a test online or by calling 119 to get an appointment to visit a test site. Thank you for your continued support.
When will I get my jab?
The NHS continues to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination programme across our communities.
In Sussex, the NHS is on course to meet the national target for offering the COVID-19 vaccination to the top four priority groups by mid-February. All vaccination services are continuing to work this week to invite anyone in the first four priority groups who has not had their vaccination yet, and who wants it, for an appointment by next week;
To ensure everyone has been offered the opportunity to have the jab, people aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated and who would like to, are now able to contact the national booking service directly to arrange an appointment. You can go online www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119.
The latest (up to 7 February) official national data on vaccinations is available on the link below.
Chichester vaccination centre
A new vaccination centre is expected to open in Chichester city centre this month for local residents who are eligible to be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. The details of how the site will operate are being finalised and residents will be informed which groups will be able to access the service next week.
For up to date information on the vaccine programme including a full FAQ please click the link below.
Symptom-less testing for businesses
Businesses in West Sussex with more than 50 employees could now benefit from asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.
The government scheme is open to businesses registered in England whose employees are unable to work from home.
Further details, and an update on the local symptom-less testing programme are available via the link below.
Council ‘Reset Plan’ approved
Councillors today approved our 'Reset Plan' which sets out what we should focus on in the future, and how we should spend our money.
The Reset Plan sets out our key priority outcomes over the next four years, focusing on learning from the response to COVID-19 to ensure we provide the best support we can for residents both now and in the future.
Our budget for the coming year
Today West Sussex County Council’s budget for the financial year ahead was set at the annual Budget Council meeting. The budget includes additional day-to-day funding for adults and children’s social care, an extra £12m investment in highways, and £10m to address the challenges of climate change.
The Budget meeting also approves the council tax level for 2021/22.
The increase in council tax will be 1.99% - plus an additional 3% for adult social care – making a total increase of 4.99%. This puts the County Council element of an average band D council tax bill at £1,510.56 – or just over £4 per day. This is an increase of £71.82 per year or just under 20p per day compared to last year’s bill.
Read more about our financial position via the link below.
Investing in our future
Whilst we continue to look for ways to fund our essential day-to-day revenue expenses, we’re pleased to say we have a revised and updated five-year capital investment programme of over £660m that will help our county to prosper in the future.
Climate change has a new capital investment of £10m over the next five years which will be used to help the council become carbon neutral by 2030. This is in addition to £42m which is already allocated for future energy generation and storage projects.
£12m additional investment will also be made in highway condition improvements on top of £87.5m already allocated in the capital programme to maintain and improve roads, cycle paths and pavements across the county.