Stark warning over funding for Lincolnshire services

Coun Martin Hill. EMN-170519-184043001
Coun Martin Hill. EMN-170519-184043001

Lincolnshire authorities could soon be at breaking point unless they are funded properly - according to the leader of the county council, Councillor Martin Hill.

This week sees the launch of a campaign calling on the Government for fairer funding for Lincolnshire and recognition that the current funding formula disadvantages rural areas.

Councillor Hill said: “Councils in Lincolnshire receive just £292 per resident to provide a vast range of services they need. London boroughs receive £536 per resident. This means we have far less to provide services that our residents need.

“On top of this, we face additional costs compared to urban areas, of maintaining such a large road network, and providing services such as adult care where people are spread over a large geographical area.

“This ‘double whammy’ effect means that we have depleting funds to repair potholes, care for our elderly population, and provide fire and rescue services, to name a few.

“We have already changed how we do things and made cuts to service budgets. In fact our annual spending has reduced by £288m since 2011, but I believe we’re now close to the absolute limit.

“Something has to change and we’re simply asking for a level playing field, for a fairer deal for Lincolnshire.”

By 2020, the main Government grant to the county council will have fallen by 86 per cent over a decade.

Increasing costs including those from the National Living Wage, inflation and waste disposal charges, are making balancing the council’s budget more and more challenging.

As well as meeting with Lincolnshire MPs, Councillor Hill will be making the case for fairer funding to the Government over the coming months.