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Lincolnshire County Council wants your views on tax freeze

Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council

The county council has launched a public consultation into its plans to freeze tax rates despite a funding gap of £12m.

Lincolnshire County Council does not want to increase rates in 2014/15, despite another cut to the grant it receives from the Government.

The budget proposal for the coming year, which will be voted on by full council on February 21, has only set out a one year plan due to uncertainty associated with local government funding beyond 2015 - a three year plan would normally be proposed.

The council will be forced to bridge a gap between funding available and council spending of £12 million. This will come from council reserves.

For freezing council tax the council will receive a one-off council tax freeze grant amounting to £2.5m.

A report to councillors said the recommended option of freezing council tax and reducing spending was a reflection of the drop in the Government grant.

It added: “The savings identified from the council’s ‘core offer’, the additional savings added into 2013/14 and 2014/15 budgets, plus the one-off use of reserves in these two financial years, have ensured the council is well placed to withstand the immediate pressures in local government funding. However, future challenges remain and significant further savings will need to be identified in future years to deliver a balanced budget.”

The “core offer” referred to in the proposal relates to the final year of the council’s four-year savings programme. This initially reflected £125m in savings over the period of 2011/12 to 2014/15 to “reinvest in services to meet unavoidable cost pressures and expected reductions in government support.”

Additional savings have been added to the council’s target to reflect further reductions in local government financing, which have reduced the council’s budget for last year and this year. Savings stand at £27.6m for 2013/14 and £39.752m for 2014/15.

To have your say on the proposals visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk

South Kesteven District Council wants to increase its share of the tax bill by 1.75 per cent. The rise would mean those who live in a property with a banding of A or B, as most residents in the district do, would see an increase of between £1.48 and £1.73 a year.

A consultation into the plans finished on Friday last week and a final decision will be made in March.

Read county council leader Martin Hill’s views: Page15

 

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