East Lindsey District Council part of Council Tax to go up

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East Lindsey District Council has approved a 7p per week increase in Council Tax for most homes.

It approved its budget for the 2013/14 financial year at a meeting on Wednesday evening.

Portfolio Holder for Finance, Coun John Upsall, said: “Although a balanced budget has been agreed by Council, which protects front line services for the forthcoming year, the following year’s budget will be tough and Councillors will need to take some difficult decisions in relation to the services the Council can afford to provide.”

For 2013/14 the Council needed to find £1.6m in savings from its running costs to balance its books due to reduced Government funding and cost rises in utilities such as fuel and electricity.

They say this has been achieved through more efficient and effective ways of working, a change to fees and charges and a 7p per week increase in Council Tax for most homes.

For 2014/15, the Council needs to find a further £2m in savings due to a further 13 per cent reduction in Government funding and inflationary costs.

Projects like the formation of Compass Point Business Services, the shared services company jointly owned by East Lindsey and South Holland District Councils, has been instrumental in enabling the Council to protect services so far.

Coun Upsall said: “In 2014/15 the Council needs to find a further £2m to balance its books. In doing all it can to protect services, the Council will leave no stone left unturned in identifying opportunities to deliver savings through new and more efficient ways of working.

“Although the revenue budget is extremely tight, good financial management means the Council can continue with a number of important investments from its reserves and capital funds over the coming years to improve the infrastructure of the local area and support the economy.”

Planned investments include:

£2.5m into new housing schemes

£300k into flood relief schemes in communities

£3.2m to provide Disabled Facility Grants to help people continue living in their homes

£500k public toilet improvement programme

£1.5m for Rural Development Grants to encourage economic growth.

£1m to a countywide broadband project that will support economic growth

£1m has been put aside to support the Environment Agency in developing flood alleviation schemes in Horncastle and Louth.