Challenging times

THIS is a response to the letter in the Herald headlined “Why cut services?”, written by John Gander, on August 4.

The council, like all local authorities, is facing challenging times in response to significant cuts in government grant both in this financial year and in future years.

Worthing suffered a 16.8 per cent cut in its grant funding for 2011-12, equivalent to a loss of grant of £1.1million.

In agreeing its budget in February, the council agreed not to increase the council tax for 2011-12.

Overall, the council agreed planned cuts of around £1.4million to its budget.

The council was careful to make reductions in its spending that did not directly affect the provision of front-line or essential services to its residents.

The examples of cuts quoted in Mr Gander’s letter refer to services provided by West Sussex County Council.

The challenge set by Mr Gander to publish financial information is something the council has been doing for some time.

The council has, for many years, been required to publish a fully audited set of accounts.

These are available from the council and can also be accessed on the council’s website at www.worthing.gov.uk following the link under “Your Council” to “Open Data” and then “Finance Information”.

Accounts for the past six years are held here.

The website also contains information on payments of over £500 to our suppliers, and much more, including detailed information on its budgets, by following the “Open Data” link.

Andrew Gardiner

strategic director

Adur and Worthing councils