Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire County Council set to raise council tax by 4.95% amid funding concerns

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Lincolnshire County Council is expected to increase council tax by 4.95% in a bid to reduce the impact of lost government funding.

The proposed 4.95% rise includes a general 2.95% council tax rise, which is just under the 3% maximum before the council would have to hold a referendum.

Lincolnshire County Council is also able to add a further 2% to the council tax bills to cover its responsibilities in delivering adult social care.

This 4.95% tax rise comes after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid gave councils new freedoms to raise an additional 1% in council tax.

Despite this substantial tax hike, figures from the County Councils Network have shown that the county council will only raise £2.5 million from the extra 1% on council tax.

This is nowhere near enough to offset a reduction of £11.2 million in its core funding in 2018-19.

The 4.95% rise is also over 1% more than what was proposed by county council leader Martin Hill back in December.

In another move designed to relieve financial strain on the council, the proposed budget includes a one-off use of the authority’s reserves of just over £14 million.

Further significant savings yet to be finalised are also expected.

Between 2015 and 2020, the county has faced a 35% drop in core funding, equating to £69.4 million.

Councillor Martin Hill has launched his fairer funding campaign over recent months, arguing that Lincolnshire is unfairly penalised compared to metropolitan areas like London, where government grants will go down at a slower pace.

He said: “We’re calling for a sustainable funding deal which recognises our future needs, especially in areas like adult social care where costs are projected to increase by £8 million over the next two years alone.

“In counties like Lincolnshire where sparsity and rurality make providing services significantly more expensive, a fairer funding deal would make an enormous difference to Lincolnshire residents and the services they value.”

Senior councillors on the Executive committee will discuss the council tax plans at a meeting on Tuesday, February 6.

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