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‘To keep our core services running, many of which are statutory, has required an increase in council tax’, says Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill

Last week at the county council, we set our budget for the next financial year, writes Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council.

With limited guaranteed funding coming to us, and increases in costs and demand, we of course have had to prioritise the protection of our front-line services, which so many people rely on.

We have made some savings in the last year, through things like better use of technology, which help us to balance the books. However, just to keep our core services running – many of which are statutory, has required an increase in council tax – with a 2% increase specifically for adult care services.

Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council
Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council

There has been some additional funding just for this year that the government recently announced, and so we have chosen to allocate extra money to other services that we know make a real difference to people’s lives.

Firstly, we have allocated an extra £2.5m to highways maintenance this year. This is in addition to the unprecedented funds we have previously put in to make up for the shortfall in our government funding.

This latest boost shows how seriously we take the condition of our roads. Keeping our county moving is hugely important for the people of Lincolnshire, and we continue to work extremely hard to achieve this.

These new funds will go towards making more improvements to roads and footpaths across the county.

Another area that we know is of much concern to residents is flood prevention and protection. There have been numerous terrible cases of flooding suffered by residents this winter which have had a significant impact on those communities involved.

In our budget, we were able to allocate an extra £1m for design and implementation and an extra £2m for jetting and clearing drainage in areas with recurring flooding.

We have also allocated £400,000 to new flood equipment for our fire service who are often on the frontline in responding to flood incidents.

Our green agenda is an important issue for all of us in Lincolnshire. That’s why we also felt it was important to put in an extra £1m to accelerate our green masterplan sustainability projects, work to encourage and support green tourism, and improving rights of way.

Lastly, although Lincolnshire is a safe place to live, we know that, at times, anti-social behaviour can affect residents’ quality of life. So the county council has committed an additional £1m towards efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour in our communities.

I’m pleased that our council is run efficiently and effectively and that residents will continue to have one of the lowest council tax rates in the country to achieve this. I know everyone wants to see good quality public services in Lincolnshire, that are also good value, and I’m confident our budget for this year achieves this.

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