Council tax set to rise in Lincolnshire, Rutland, East Northamptonshire and North West Cambridgeshire in face of national funding shortfall
Lincolnshire county councillors have backed a 3.5 per cent council tax increase as part of the authority’s budget plans for 2020/21.
It means an average band D home in the county would be billed £1,337.58 for the services the council provides, such as adult social care, roads and education. This is a £45 rise on last year.
Meanwhile, Rutland’s draft budget proposes a 3.99 per cent increase. For an average band D property in Rutland, the bill would be £1,773 for the services Rutland County Council provides, an increase of £68 compared to last year.
Lincolnshire County Council is due to approve its council tax rate on February 21, while Rutland is due to approve its rate on February 24.
Northamptonshire County Council is also looking at an increase of 3.99 per cent. The council is preparing to move from a two-tiered county and borough council structure to become two new unitary authorities from April 2021.
Over the past year the Northamptonshire authority has had to make millions of pounds of savings, having previously spent itself into debt.
Cambridgeshire County Council has agreed a 3.59 per cent increase, adding £47.07 to the average band D home and taking its share of the bill to £1,359.18.
County and unitary councils have two main sources of funding – money from the government and money from council tax.
Lincolnshire County Council leader, Martin Hill (Con), said the council’s budget was “positive” and will help to “protect frontline services”.
However, he is continuing a campaign to lobby for fairer funding for the county, in order to plan future budgets.
“What we would really like is a four year settlement so that next year we can have a forward-looking budget,” he said.
Rutland will receive just £380,000 of extra funding from the government this year, compared to a £2.9m increase in overall costs.
Councillor Gordon Brown (Con), deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, is also lobbying government because Rutland’s government funding in 2020 is £135 less per person when compared to other unitary councils.
He said: “Like all councils and a great many households, we expect our costs to go up this year, meaning it’s getting more expensive to run local services.”
Coun Brown added that there had been an increase in the number of older people in residential care, as well as an increase in mental health cases.
More by this authorSuzanne Moon