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Shadow executive argues for lower tax increase at today's Lincolnshire County Council budget meeting

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Councillors on the shadow executive of Lincolnshire County Council are arguing for a lower rise in council tax.

The ruling Conservatives have proposed a five per cent increase in the county slice of the council tax bill - the maximum increase allowed.

They argued it was necessary in part because central government has withdrawn £12.3m that would have paid for the upkeep of the county's roads.

Lincolnshire County Council highways workers repairing potholes
Lincolnshire County Council highways workers repairing potholes

At Lincolnshire County Council's budget meeting today (Friday, February 18), shadow executive members will push for a reduced, four per cent increase and will outline two reasons for believing this is possible.

They are that Lincolnshire County Council has reserves of £60m and because £7m is forecast to be saved through council 'underspends' this year

Shadow executive member Coun Ashley Baxter (Ind - Deepings West) it would be disrespectful to demand a five per cent tax increase from residents when the council has "£60m already in the piggy bank and knowing there’s another £7m raised in council tax last year that isn’t being spent on the services it was collected for".

Members of the shadow executive of Lincolnshire County Council
Members of the shadow executive of Lincolnshire County Council

At today's meeting he is expected to launch a case to limit the overall rise to four per cent and use £6.45m from reserves to cover the highways shortfall, to tackle rising waiting times for treating children facing mental challenges, and to cut carbon emissions.

Of the proposed four per cent increase, the shadow executive would spend three per cent on adult social care, which includes the costly area of state care for elderly people.

The shadow executive proposes the other one per cent increase plus £6.45m from council reserves should be spent as follows:

  • £3.2m to make up the highways budget shortfall
  • £1.2m for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Cahms) to provide increased resources to meet the rising demand for services as a result of the pandemic
  • £1.5m to develop cycling and walking schemes
  • £300,000 for creating solar canopies over car parks to power vehicle charging points
  • £250,000 to install solar panels on council-owned buildings.

The shadow executive comprises councillors Richard Cleaver (Ind - Stamford West), Ashley Baxter (Ind - Deeping West and Rural), Phil Dilks (Ind - Deeping East), Marianne Overton (Ind - Bassingham and Welbourn), Kev Clarke (Lab - Boultham), Julie Killey (Lab - Park), Karen Lee (Lab - Ermine and Cathedral) and Robert Parker (Lab - Carholme).

  • What do you think? Email smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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