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Proposal to increase council tax by South Kesteven District Council

South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) is proposing a £5 increase in council tax for 2021/22 - but cuts are being made.

The budget, which includes a proposal to remove town toilet attendants, will be examined at two meetings of the authority next week - the cabinet on Tuesday and the scrutiny committee on Wednesday.

The increase, which is not high enough to spark a referendum, would mean SKDC asking residents of Band D homes to pay £168.62 annually towards the services it provides — a rise of 3.06 per cent.

Toilet attendants could go in a bid to save money on the new council tax bills
Toilet attendants could go in a bid to save money on the new council tax bills

The largest portion of the annual council tax bill goes to Lincolnshire County Council, which pays for the most costly services, including adult social care, education and roads.

A report before SKDC councillors said: “The scale of the financial challenges ahead are significant and largely as a result of the external environment namely a further delay in the national review of the local government funding formula and the detrimental impact the pandemic has had on the council’s resources.

“Therefore the budget proposals have been built against this backdrop while maintaining quality services to the residents of South Kesteven.”

The report said the financial outlook for the district “remains uncertain”, however, notes a number of settlements and financial measures announced by government including the income losses compensation scheme.

A number of national reductions in funding means SKDC predicts its income will reduce from £18.5m next year to £13.4m by 2024-25 and so money will have to come from elsewhere.

Authority bosses expect to need around £14m if the budget goes ahead as requested, even more if not. They expect to the council to enter into a budget deficit of £1.1m by 2023-24 based on projected funding levels.

The budget also outlines a number of cuts the authority wishes to make including the removal of toilet attendants in Grantham and Stamford, the merger of the Visitor Information Centres and box office at Stamford, as well as increase of some charges such as green waste and car parking tariffs and sub-letting offices at St Peter’s Hill.

Consultation on the plans will take place following the meetings.

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