All party support for an emergency HDC budget

The alarming state of Horsham District Council’s finances was laid bare in an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on 23rd July. The COVID-19 pandemic has been expensive to fight. This year HDC is expected to have a shortfall of between £5 million and £9 million. But it’s the loss of income going forward that’s most dangerous to services, with a potential permanent £3 million gap in revenue.

We desperately need more support from the government. But at the moment it’s not coming and HDC are legally obliged to run a balanced budget. All parties therefore joined together to support a package of short-term cuts in capital expenditure to help us through the immediate crisis.

The Capitol has already re-opened but in a limited cinema-only format. Sadly, there have been and will be more redundancies. The Bridge, the Pavilions, Storrington and Steyning Leisure centres are all run by Places Leisure, a large company which operates many leisure centres across the country. They are asking for a very large subsidy to enable them to re-open. HDC is in complicated contractual negotiations with Places Leisure and it may be some time before it can be settled.

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