South Holland

£1m set aside to help council through cuts

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Two £500,000 lump sums, including a new “community reserve”, are set to be put aside next year by senior councillors at South Holland District Council as part of a budget which will see council tax rise by 2.91%.

During an 11-minute special cabinet meeting at the authority’s Priory Road headquarters today, Councillor Coupland explained the new reserve will come from the Government’s 2019-20 New Homes Bonus scheme – which is expected to be received for the final time next year.

“We have never had anything like this before, but I think it will help parishes out, if they need financial help such as a loan.

“It will also help with anything we might need to do in market towns. So there’s a pot there which can be drawn upon throughout the district.”

No further details were available on the reserve, but proposals are set to go to a future cabinet meeting.

The other £500,000 will be used to purchase assets over a five year period from 2018-23.

Elsewhere in the budget, Band D properties could see a rise of £4.95 added to their tax for 2019/20, however, council leader Gary Porter reassured members that most properties within the district were in Band A or B and so would be lower.

He added that the council was continuing to increase the number of houses within the district, which would bring extra cash into the coffers.

Councillors were told that for 2019-20, the council tax base was for 27,712 properties, an increase of 410, which it was estimated would bring in an extra £207,000 for the authority.

“This is a good thing,” said councillor Porter, adding. “Bad news when we have to give something planning permission, but good news when they give somebody a house.”

The council, like others, will see a number of decreases in government funding next year, including the Revenue Support and Rural Services Support Grants.

It is looking to save £1.105 million by 2021.

The proposals will now go before Full Council.