North East Lincolnshire

Council tax to go up by 4.98% in North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire Council approved a 4.98% council tax increase, which also includes a 3% precept rise for adult social care.

The total increase will be the equivalent of about 90p extra a week for a Band A property.

As part of the approved proposals, the council will support the South Humber Industrial Investment (SHIIP), an ambitious project to create thousands of jobs and provide ecological space to protect the environment on the South Humber Bank.

Council leader Ray Oxby said this was a prudent budget for economic growth.

He said: “We’ve had tremendous success during the past 12 months in bidding for millions of pounds worth of funds from other bodies for regeneration projects ranging from SHIIP to enhancements in Cleethorpes and Grimsby town centre as well as support to tackle domestic abuse and help for care leavers.

“With this budget we’re committed to building on the country’s first flagship Town Deal with the Government to help regenerate this Borough and further our economic strategy.

“We’ll invest in enforcement activity to tackle rogue landlords, keep our streets clean and reduce anti-social behaviour.

“Modernising our waste and recycling operations is another priority for us, as well as looking at investing in a weekly recycling arrangement and considering a choice of larger bins, where appropriate.

“We will build on the success of our Housing Zone status and Estates Regeneration funding and deliver the right mix of quality, affordable, extra-care and social housing for our residents, strengthening our tax base as a result.

“And we will invest in a series of targeted cleansing operations in our untidiest wards, in return for a community commitment to ‘keep our ward tidy’.”

Councillor Oxby added the way local government is funded is changing, with cuts to the main grant from central government and an increasing reliance on locally raised council tax and business rates.

In 2013, the main government grant was just over £52million, but this year it’s less than £18.

About 80% of the council’s net budget is forecast to be funded from local taxation in 2018/19, rising to 85% in 2020/21.

Councillor Matthew Patrick, portfolio holder for finance and resources, added: “Millions of pounds have been taken from us over the past few years.

“The big question is where has that money gone if it is no longer being spent locally?

“We’re working hard to plug the gap and protect services for the most vulnerable by changing the way we work and building a stronger local economy.

“In the face of these pressures, the council is becoming more self-sufficient and planning for long term financial sustainability by budgeting for growth.

“We have to deliver a balanced budget and a 4.98 per cent rise in Council Tax is the only option when the alternative is more cuts to public services.

“Emptying bins and fixing potholes is a small part of what we do.

“Our total budget for the next 12 months is £124.333 million and more than a third of that money (£45.37 million) will be spent taking care of older and vulnerable people.

“Another £15 million is spent on children’s services and nearly £7 million on early help.”