South Holland will benefit from £3million Government money for drainage boards
South Holland will be getting a share of the £3million Government package to help with the costs of our drainage boards.
MP Sir John Hayes says he has been assured that South Holland District Council will be one of the local authorities to benefit from the money announced by Levelling Up Minister Michael Gove recently.
South Holland and a number of other authorities have been lobbying the Government to find a long-term solution to cover the costs of the important work undertaken by the area’s drainage boards.
Earlier this month the district council’s cabinet agreed to increase its share of the council tax bill by 3.09% – but leader Coun Nick Worth has warned that that the £268,000 extra income that this brings will be ‘wiped out’ by the costs of the internal drainage boards. This leaves the council with a challenge of how to fund its services.
Sir John said: “I made the case as I did last year successfully on behalf of the area for recognition of the additional pressure we face in respect of drainage and the fact that the local authority are working with drainage boards to alleviate the pressure.
“I am pleased to say the minister has confirmed in conversation that we will be getting extra support along with a small number of other local authorities. We are waiting to see the full details of that.”
The council’s portfolio holder Coun Paul Redgate, chairman of the Local Government Association Special Interest Group (SIG) on this, has vowed to keep lobbying the Government for a long-term solution.
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He said: “There is no doubt the operations of IDBs are vital for our communities in reducing flood risk and maintaining water levels to reduce the impact of flooding. The IDB levy imposed by the Government - has reached unprecedented levels, leaving these councils in a precarious and unfair position with no choice but to put council tax up and consider cuts to services to fund these increases.”
“The cost is one that SIG councils simply can no longer afford.
“The SIG is also grateful to the Government for awarding an additional £3m funding this year to the councils most impacted by the levies. We await confirmation of the funding allocations.”