Government grant cuts could lead to shifting council focus

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In the face of possible swingeing cuts to local government grants Horsham District Council is looking at how it can best support local business and employment.

According to reports, the Government is set to announce a further ten per cent cut in council grants and is strongly hinting that these - in their traditional form – will be entirely gone within five or six years.

The major new emphasis is on business growth and jobs and councils’ future funding will in future come far more from supporting a successful local economy.

Last Thursday June 20, Horsham district councillors were welcomed to a special economic workshop.

It was run by a team of outside experts and aimed to give members a better understanding of how the council will need to give great priority to measures that support and enhance the local business and employment.

The presentation gave details of how, without promoting a dynamic local economy, councils will find it increasingly difficult to fund existing services.

It provided councillors with an understanding of the role of local economic development as well as how it is delivered at a national, sub national, and local level.

Councillors were informed about the existing economic picture in the Horsham district and the need to look at where jobs and firms could locate and how to attract companies to the Horsham district.

A major part of the workshop was for councillors to give their feedback on the priorities and objectives of a draft Economic Strategy document.

The Economic Strategy will sit alongside the new ‘Horsham District Planning Framework’, which is scheduled to be considered by the council in July.

This will take into account the National Planning Policy Framework, updated local housing numbers and sites and, in addition, reflect the council’s priorities for Economic Development.

For more information on the workshops, please email natalie.brahma-pearl@horsham.gov.uk or call 01403 215250.