East Lindsey District Council is asking local people for their views on its proposed budget for the 2013/14 financial year.
The proposed budget, which has been approved for consultation by the Executive Board, will be considered by council in February.
The budget that has been developed protects services over the next year but warns of even tougher decisions in the future.
For 2013/14 the council needed to find £1.6m to balance its books due to reduced Government funding and cost rises in utilities such as fuel and electricity.
For 2014/15, the council needs to find a further £1.75m due to a further 13 per cent reduction in Government funding.
So far the Ccuncil has been able to manage the reductions in funding by implementing new ways of working across services to reduce costs.
The budget for 2013/14 proposes an increase in council tax – around 7p per week for the majority of homes in East Lindsey. This increase, the first for three years, will mean services to local people can be protected. People living in East Lindsey will continue to pay the lowest council Ttx rate in Lincolnshire and one of the lowest in the country.
The budget also proposes an investment of £350k into the district’s events programme to boost the economy, including Wolds Words, the district-wide SO Festival and Beach Sports.
In 2012 alone, SO Festival delivered direct economic benefit of over £1m to the area and raised the profile of East Lindsey as a visitor destination through significant media coverage.
Over the next few years the Council will continue with its planned investments of £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; a £500k public toilet improvement programme and the £1.5m Rural Development Grants.
The council has also allocated £1m to a countywide broadband project that will support business growth and £1m has been put aside to support the Environment Agency in developing flood alleviation schemes in Horncastle and Louth.
Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor John Upsall, said: “Developing our budget proposal for 2013/14 has been challenging, but 2014/15 will be even tougher. Like families and businesses, we have reducing amounts of money to provide our services.
“Rural councils have been hit hard by the Government’s recent funding announcement and for East Lindsey District Council we will need to find at least another £1.75m in our budget to balance the books in 2014/15.
“As a council, we remain focused on protecting services to local people and we will leave no stone unturned in identifying opportunities to do things more efficiently.
”During the period of consultation we’d like to hear the community’s view on the proposal being put forward before council makes a final decision.”
The proposed budget is available to view at www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/consultation with a feedback form for the provision of comments by January 30, 2013