Budget response 2020

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The council's leader and executive member for economy have given their reaction to today's Budget.

Cllr Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: Cllr Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: "The major news in today's budget is the £30bn to tackle coronavirus.

"Despite the ongoing efforts of both national and local government to reduce the spread of the virus, there is likely to be a significant impact on the country.

"This funding package will not only help the health service cope with the added pressures, but also lessen the knock-on effects on the economy.  

"While this will undoubtedly grab the headlines, there were many other things to celebrate in today's budget.

"In a rural county like Lincolnshire, good roads are vital, so it was welcome news that the Government will be investing an enormous £2.5bn in pothole repairs over the next five years.

"We'll be pushing to make sure Lincolnshire gets its fair share of this national funding, helping us to undo some of the damage done by the winter weather.

"This comes on top of the £4m the county council is spending on extra highways gangs this year, who'll carry out additional maintenance.

"In addition, the Government has agreed to upgrade the A46 Newark bypass. The A46 is an important link for the county and these improvements will bring local benefits.

"I'm sure motorists will also welcome the chancellor's decision to freeze fuel duty, which will make a real difference to business and family budgets alike.

"Of course, these days, digital connections are just as important, and the chancellor has promised £5bn to get gigabit-capable broadband into the hardest to reach places.

"In addition, there's £510m of new investment for the shared rural mobile phone network, which will extend 4G coverage to 95% of the country in the next five years.

"We know flooding is a top-priority for many people, which is why the county council this year set aside more than £2m for extra drainage repairs and new flood-response equipment for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

"And I'm pleased the Government has today committed £5.2bn towards improved flood defences over the next six years - announcing at least £75 million for Skegness, £12 million for Tattershall, and £6 million for Boston - to better protect over 17,000 properties."

Cllr Colin Davie, executive member for economy and place, added: "This is such a positive budget, backing British business and investing for the future.

"Lincolnshire's economy will certainly feel the benefits – from the abolition of business rates for 12 months and cash grants for small businesses, to the increased investment in infrastructure, research and development.

"The £5billion in new export loans to help businesses export and grow is very welcome news for Lincolnshire companies who want to develop into export markets, and seize the opportunities from Brexit. Dedicated trade envoys representing the Midlands in embassies around the world is also great news for our future trading relationships.

"And those wishing to start out in business in the county will be helped by the announcement of £130m of new funding to extend Start-up Loans.

"Good connections are vital to both businesses, so I'm pleased to see increased investment in roads and road maintenance, along with funding for enhanced broadband and a freeze on fuel duty which will benefit those in rural areas most."

Published: 11th March 2020