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Council Services:

Balancing the books

Falling grants and increased costs - especially in adult care - have prompted a 3.95% rise in our share of the council tax

Despite serious financial challenges, the council has set a budget protecting key frontline services.

Older woman welcoming carer

As reported in the last County News, we’re facing a range of funding issues, including a huge reduction in our general government grant. From April, this is dropping by 31% to just £48m.

By 2020, it will have gone down by over 90% in less than a decade.

At the same time, we’re facing increased costs of about £26m in the coming year, including an extra £7m needed to care for a growing older population.

Other pressures include a rise in the National Living Wage, which will push up costs by £5m.

Against this background, the council had been struggling to plug a £60m spending gap for the next 12 months.

However, the budget - set by the full council on 24 February - succeeded in protecting services that residents say they regard as the most important.

They include safeguarding, road maintenance, flood risk management, and fire and rescue. Continued funding has also been found for Citizens Advice.

Inevitably, though, tough choices had to be made, and the council voted to:

Increase council tax by 3.95%, including a 2% precept for adult care - this will bring in almost £10m over the next 12 months.

Cut some services - savings totalling nearly £40m were identified, on top of the £249m the council has achieved since 2011.

Use a limited amount of reserves to plug the gap - it was agreed to support services with £18m of savings over the next 12 months.

The council is expecting further budget challenges in the years ahead, when it may again be necessary to use reserves to protect services.

In the meantime, we plan to continue lobbying the Government for fairer funding for Lincolnshire, particularly to help meet growing adult care costs.

For more information about the budget, please visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/budget.

More about council tax

The county council’s 3.95% increase in council tax will add just under £45 a year - or 86p a week - to a Band D bill.

For the many Lincolnshire households in lower bands, the figure will be less - for example, Band A properties will pay just under £30 a year more, or 57p a week.

In addition to the 3.95% Lincolnshire County Council rise, increases may be set by district and parish/town councils, and for policing.

Sixth form/college transport

If you’ll be attending sixth form or college this September and require transport, you need to apply now at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/schooltransport.

Once your entitlement has been confirmed, your contribution will have to be paid by 31 July to ensure transport is in place for the start of term.

All the information you need to apply is available on the website, but if you do require further assistance please phone 01522 782020.

Tendering for transport

Lincolnshire County Council will be tendering for home to school/college transport throughout the year.

Contracts will be for primary and secondary schools, FE colleges and local bus services.

To join the council’s approved list of licensed taxi, private hire and local bus operators, contact Tim Brettell on 01522 782020 or tim.brettell@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

Further information is available at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/approvedoperators.

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Last updated: 27 April 2017

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