Budget boost for communities and businesses

Cllr martin hill

This year, the council will provide an extra £12.3m for roads, £200,000 for flood response and £12m to support the local economy.

In addition, the budget includes over £500m for the day-to-day services residents rely on, such as adult care, children's services and the fire service.

The council will also invest around £200m in infrastructure and building projects, such as improvements to local schools and new roads.

And despite a reduction in road maintenance grant from government by 25%, the council will be fully plugging this gap to ensure essential repairs and maintaining roads to a good standard.

Cllr Martin Hill OBE, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said:

"Our budget strikes a careful balance, reflecting that our residents and businesses have had a tough time over the last year, but that this has meant an increased demand for council support and services.

"It also recognises the need to invest in the projects that will aid our county's recovery.

"Thanks to our careful financial management over the years, we do have reserves we can draw on in times of emergency, and now is the right time to do that.

"So there's extra funding this year for roads and flooding as we know these areas are a priority for our residents.

"And we know local businesses have had a particularly tough time during the pandemic, so we're making additional support available through a range of grant schemes.

"We have been able to use £12m from our reserves to launch our own grant funding schemes for small businesses who haven't been eligible for any government covid grants to date.

"The first of these will launch next week and provide funding of between £5,000 and £10,000 to those businesses who need it most.

"This year we were going to propose an extra £10m for road maintenance and repair, but the government has significantly reduced our funding in this area by a quarter.

"It's not an area that we want to see less investment in, so we will fully plug this funding gap at a cost of £12.3m.

"I'm clear that the local taxpayers of Lincolnshire should not be expected to cover indefinitely money which should go to road repairs that the government holds from fuel duty.

"We'll be talking to our local MPs and government ministers about the continued investment needed in Lincolnshire's infrastructure.

"We've worked hard as a council to find savings wherever we can, so we can make the most of every pound.

"And as a result we can continue to invest in services for vulnerable adults, children’s social care, and an extensive programme of expansion and improvements to special schools."

View the 2021 budget speech in full.

The authority's funding comes from a combination of council tax, business rates and government grants.

Although the government is allowing up to a 5% increase in council tax rates this year, the county council is limiting this to a 1.99% rise.

For a property in council tax band A, the increase would be the equivalent of an extra 34p per week.

For further information on the council's spending, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/budget.

Published: 19th February 2021