West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is the authority that governs the non-metropolitan county of West Sussex. The county also contains 7 district and borough councils, and 159 town, parish and neighbourhood councils. The county council has 71 elected councillors. The Chief Executive and her/his team of Executive Directors are responsible for the day-to-day running of the council.
The county elects 8 MPs, and is part of the South East England constituency which returns ten members to the European Parliament.
West Sussex County Council is currently controlled by the Conservative Party.
The Local Government Act 1888 created the administrative county of West Sussex, with its own county council, from the three western rapes of the ancient county of Sussex, that is the rapes of Chichester, Arundel and Bramber. With the exception of the three county boroughs of Brighton, Hastings and Eastbourne, the three eastern rapes of Lewes, Pevensey and Hastings came under the control of East Sussex County Council. Until 1898 it existed alongside the Urban and Rural Sanitary Districts, when these were abolished in favour of a new network or urban and rural districts.
The Local Government Act 1972 abolished the previous structure of local government in England and Wales. At this time West Sussex became a non-metropolitan county, divided into districts. This act created the two-tier system of government that exists in West Sussex to this day.
The council is responsible for public services such as education, transport, strategic planning, emergency services, social services, public safety, the fire service and waste disposal.Adur District Council
Arun District Council
Chichester District Council
Crawley Borough Council
Horsham District Council
Mid Sussex District Council
Worthing Borough Council
See List of civil parishes in West Sussex
The whole County Council is the ultimate decision-making body and the principal forum for major political debate. Its 71 members meet six times a year. The County Council reserves to itself decisions on key policy plans, questions members of the Cabinet, debates major pieces of work by Select Committees and notices of motion.
It appoints the Leader who decides the composition and areas of competence of the Cabinet, to which responsibility is delegated for carrying out many of the County Council's existing policies. It also appoints the Select Committees which examine and review decisions and actions of the Cabinet and Cabinet Members, as well as some non-Executive committees and a Standards Committee.
The West Sussex Cabinet has eight members selected from the Conservative majority. The Cabinet proposes the key policy decisions of the Council, which are subject to agreement by the full County Council of 71 members. Each member has a portfolio of work for which they take personal responsibility.
West Sussex County Council is divided into five directorates:Adults & Children
Provides social care services to West Sussex children, young people, their families and communities; and services for older people and adults with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, sensory disabilities or mental health needs.Finance & Performance
Provides the following services: Business Change & Information Management, Capital & Asset Management, Finance, Internal Audit, Performance, Procurement & Market Development, Delivery Team.Communities and Public Protection
Provides the following services: Community Services (Community Safety, Sustainable Development, Library Service, Record Office, Registration Service, Trading Standards), Fire & Rescue Service, Infrastructure (Environment & Heritage, Highways, Planning), Resources & Performance (Business Management, Communications, Major Projects) and Wastes Management.Customer Services
Provides the following services: Customer Services, Operations Support Services, People Management, Resources & Performance.Policy & Partnerships
Provides the following services: Communications, Democratic Services, Emergency Management, Legal Services, Policy & Partnerships (Arts Service, County Strategy, Europe Office, Local Area Agreements, Sustainability, Youth Cabinet).
County council elections took place on 2 May 2013. The next elections are due in 2017. For detailed results for each electoral division see West Sussex County Council election, 2013.