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Council sets priority areas for investment for the district and continuation of council tax support scheme

East Lindsey District Council has committed to prioritising investment for market towns and parishes as part of the Council's budget setting for the coming year.

Annual Council Tax

The investment will follow consultation with communities to best support the district's economy for regeneration, installing civic pride as well as supporting culture, heritage and businesses.

The priority investment for the coming year are:

  • Market towns and rural areas,
  • Driving and supporting economic growth
  • Supporting the delivery of affordable housing
  • Supporting the vulnerable
  • Supporting healthy living
  • Decarbonisation and continued investment in green initiatives
  • Invest to Save initiatives.

The approved budget for the year includes a council tax increase of 3.06 per cent. This means a band D property will pay £166.59 to East Lindsey District Council, an increase of £4.95 per year or 9.5p per week. The council's share of the council tax goes towards district services as well as supporting the cost of Internal Drainage Boards.  The council collects the council tax set by Lincolnshire County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire and parish councils. 

The budget also includes:

  • To continue with the generation of additional efficiencies, shared services and income from commercial activities guided by our Delivery Plans.
  • Increased capital investment in council assets to help generate new income streams, reduce running costs and help deliver services more efficiently.
  • Significant additional capital and revenue spending supported by grant funding.
  • Setting aside funds to support de-carbonisation activities and support for the most vulnerable in our community.

Cllr Richard Fry, Portfolio Holder for Finance at East Lindsey District Council said: "The Council has achieved a balanced budget despite it being one of the most challenging due to unprecedented inflationary pressures, and significant changes in resident, customer and business needs.

"The council continues to work hard to develop new opportunities, efficiencies and income streams to support the Council's revenue budget.

"A significant element of the Council's budget which impacts the amount of money we have available for services is the Internal Drainage Board levy. The budget includes substantial increases in the levy due to the extensive use of power, fuel and other factors to pump water away to reduce the flooding risk to us all. 

"Next year's IDB costs for the drainage boards which operate in East Lindsey are £5.3m - an increase of £277,000 from last year. The total increase since 2021/22 from the IDB levy is £1.45m - a huge 38 per cent increase.

"The council is part of a Local Government Association Special Interest Group of 30 councils, actively lobbying this issue with Government over this issue unfair and unsustainable funding mechanism.  An assurance has been given that a long-term solution is to be implemented by Government for the 2025/26 financial settlement and conversations with DEFRA and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities continue. Representation will continue to be made to press the urgency of this matter due to the unaffordable levies and the substantial loss of income to the council."

As well as approving the budget for 2024/2025, members voted to continue a scheme to support residents on low or no income to pay their annual council tax bill.

The maximum support available to working age applicants is 75 per cent, meaning that all working age households have to pay at least 25 per cent towards their council tax. The scheme protects War disablement pensioners, war widows and war widowers.

The council agreed to increase the scheme in in line with the allowances and premiums set by the Department for Work and Pensions as well as increasing the age limit from 21 years to 25 years for Care Leavers.

Cllr Fry said: "To show our commitment in supporting the vulnerable, I am delighted the council agreed to extend a 100 per cent reduction in council tax liability for Care Leavers, increasing the maximum age of eligibility to 25. 

"People who are struggling to pay their council tax are encouraged to make contact with the council so we can help. By contacting us, we can ensure households are receiving any discounts and reductions they may be eligible for. Alternative payment arrangements can also be made, for example helping with frequency of payment, or extending over a longer period."

You can watch back the council meeting here and see the report papers which accompany the meeting here.