Council agrees 2018/19 budget as financial challenge continues
March 8, 2018
EAST Lindsey District Council has agreed its budget for the forthcoming financial year, which acknowledges the continued financial pressures Local Authorities face.
Over the next four years, the District Council continues to face significant financial challenge and via its Transformation Programme is continuing to identify opportunities to increase income and make savings to balance the budget and protect services to the community. By 2020 the Council no longer expects to receive Government grant funding to support service provision (approximately £4m).
Key announcements from the Budget include:
- An increase of 3.75% in the District Council's proportion of Council Tax - this is equivalent to £4.95 per annum for those living in a Band D home. Most homes fall into a lower Band so their increase would be less. Council Tax in East Lindsey remains the lowest in Lincolnshire.
- Protection for services to the community but recognising that further budget reductions and/or income streams are likely to be required over the medium term.
- Continued support for vulnerable people and the economy of the District remain priorities.
- The reintroduction of Councillor Community Grants of £1,500 per Councillor to support local Ward based projects, for one year.
- Recruitment of a number of apprentices for the Neighbourhoods Service to support with the cleansing operation in the District.
- Reintroduction of a Shop Front Grant Scheme.
Along with eight other authorities in Greater Lincolnshire, East Lindsey District Council has been chosen to pilot a Business Rates Retention scheme for 2018/19, which will allow the Council to keep 100% of the Business Rate growth in the period. The pilot scheme is for one year only. Any additional Business Rates income generated as a result of the pilot will be used to support service delivery to the community in the coming years and to deliver Economic Development activity.
Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor Richard Fry, said: "This is a very unique year for our finances and we continue to cope with pressures around reduced funding from Central Government that we know will continue in the coming years.
"The Business Rates Retention pilot is an exciting opportunity and should help prepare us for the challenges that will arise as funding from Government ceases. Despite this we will continue to work towards our priorities of doing all we can to support the District's most vulnerable residents, grow the economy of the area and meet our statutory responsibilities."