Over the past few years, we have been working really hard to make major savings to cope with cuts to our Government funding. This was so that we could minimise any impact on you and continue to provide you with quality public services.

Over the past few years, we have made £9.4m of savings. This has largely been achieved behind the scenes without any impact on frontline services.

We now plan to save a further £3.9m over the next five years, to make sure that we maintain a balanced budget over the medium term. Our biggest saving comes from the decision to outsource the management of Westgate Leisure. In total, this will save the council £1.5 million a year.

Our outsourcing partner, Everyone Active, has already invested £1.5 million in the facilities at the Westgate Leisure Centre. The decision to outsource has protected our leisure services for years to come. We are now looking at a similar outsourcing model for our Novium Museum.

We are currently updating our car parks with new payment systems, while maintaining competitive charges. We are also expanding our property portfolio with retail and workshop investment, with our Enterprise Centre now under construction. All of these projects are intended to support local businesses and our local economy.

We've been working hard over the years to make improvements to our waste and recycling collections, street cleaning and parks services so that they are now recognised as some of the best and most efficient services in the country.

We're also making effective use of the New Homes Bonus receipts to benefit our local communities, rather than propping up spending - which is what many other councils have had to do.

Looking after the most vulnerable in our communities is also high on our list. We are increasing the provision that we make for the homeless, and we have maintained a generous council tax support scheme.

We are proud that our council tax is one of the lowest in the country, despite severe Government funding cuts. We have achieved this while protecting our vital services to the community,

You may not realise it, but you come into contact with our work every day. We provide more than 80 services, which are delivered to you over a 24 hour period. We empty your bins, check food hygiene standards, licence taxis, clean your streets, look after the coastline, care for our parks and open spaces and provide support and reassurance to the vulnerable - to list just a few! Find out more about the services we provide by visiting our social media sites and reading our magazine 'Initiatives'.

We always want to hear your thoughts, so please get in touch with me at leader@chichester.gov.uk

Best Wishes

Councillor Tony Dignum

Leader of Chichester District Council

March 2017