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Leader of Lincolnshire County Council explains why it is proposing a 4.55 per cent in crease in its share of council tax

We have recently completed a public consultation of our 2024/25 budget proposals put forward by the council’s executive, writes Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, writes Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council.

We have been asking members of the public for their views on proposals we think will be needed to maintain the services which are so vital to many residents of Lincolnshire.

The results of this consultation will be reviewed by the council before we make our final decisions later this month.

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

This year, the council expects to spend almost £650m on providing a wide range of services. Some of the costs we are forecasting this year include:

- £305m for adult care and community wellbeing

- £114m for children’s services

- £49m for highways

- £25m for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue

And, while we have managed to find around £9m in savings by reducing bureaucracy and streamlining operations through the use of new technology, we also face an increase of £61m in additional cost pressures.

These are expected to come due to rising prices and increased demand for services, such as adult care, child protection and school transport.

As a result of the increases we are proposing a 4.99% increase in the authority’s share of the council tax, which equates to an extra £1.44 per week for a Band D property.

We believe this must be done to protect our frontline services as we know many residents rely on our support, as was underlined during the recent floods when the council and its partners were called upon to help those affected.

Thanks to our careful financial management over recent years, Lincolnshire County Council remains in a stable position, and there are no plans to cut services. In addition, despite the proposed increase, our council tax rate is set to remain one of the lowest in the country for a shire county.

One of the additions to this year’s budget is an additional £4m for longer-term flood prevention schemes. We know this is a real concern for residents, brought to the fore recently with Storm Babet and Storm Henk. With hundreds of homes flooded in Lincolnshire, we know that the consequences can be upsetting and worrying. The government has made funding available to people whose homes have been flooded in these two recent events.

The county council is administering flood grants to people who suffered internal flood damage to their homes or businesses, of up to £5,000 to help make their property more resilient to future flooding. To check if you’re eligible and to apply, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/floodgrants .

Longer term, councils in Greater Lincolnshire are looking to secure a devolution deal, which would see more local decision-making and funding transferred from the government. We believe this is the best way available to us to ensure we get the investment we need, and a direct line to the government through a mayoral board who would oversee new funding and powers.

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