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Message from Council Leader Cllr Martin Hill OBE - October 2017

Along with leaders of other councils in Lincolnshire, I’ve been out a lot recently talking to people about getting a fair Government funding deal for our area.

fairer funding

As I explained in this column last month, the county council has had a 90% reduction in our main grant from central government over the last decade - a huge amount.

Across the country, councils have managed to cut their cloth to meet these financial challenges, and play our part in re-building the nation’s finances.

However, almost all areas of the country receive more funding than we do here - and that has to change.

If councils in the wider Lincolnshire area received just the average council funding per person, we would be £116m better off every year.

The difference that could make is enormous, and local councils have started a joint campaign to show what public services it could pay for.

At this council, we currently rely on grants and loans for our major road and bypass schemes, as well as some money from our reserves.

Well, £116m extra would mean we could pay for a new bypass scheme outright every single year.

Or we could use the money to change some of our busiest roads from single to dual carriageways.

And even just a small proportion of that missing funding could make a big difference - for example, £23m would provide fibre broadband to every business from the Humber to the Wash.

To really show the scale of the shortfall, we could build a brand new hospital in Lincolnshire every year. Every year.

In short, we think residents are missing out on much-needed investment and services.

So what are we doing about it?

As our campaign gets underway, members of the public, businesses and other organisations have given me their support in fighting for more funding.

We’ve also been in touch with all Lincolnshire’s town and parish councils to ask for their backing, and the early responses are very encouraging.

With the Government planning to review how funding is allocated to local councils, council leaders and MPs in Lincolnshire are discussing the issue with ministers.

Together, we’re setting out our case for a fair deal for our area - and you can join us in speaking up for more money for local public services.

Please visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/fairerfunding to add your voice to the campaign.

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Last updated: 18 October 2017

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