Warning over tough times ahead for East Lindsey District Council
WARNINGS of tough times ahead have been made as East Lindsey District Council's budget was finalised.
In making this year's budget, efficiency savings have been made but even more will have to be found in future to balance the books.
In proposing the budget, Councillor John Upsall, portfolio holder for finance said: "These efficiency savings means no reduction in front line services. We want to make sure that tax payers in East Lindsey are getting value for money."
The budget has seen an above inflation council tax increase of 4.4 per cent. This will see the annual rate for a Band D property set at of £117.36 .
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Most homes in East Lindsey are Band A which means they will pay around 7p a week extra.
East Lindsey remains the lowest council tax in Lincolnshire and one of the lowest in the country.
For 2013/14 the council needed to find £1.6m in savings from its running costs to balance its books due to reduced Government funding and cost rises in utilities.
Savings have also been made due to the Compass Point Business Services, the shared services company jointly owned by East Lindsey and South Holland District Councils.
For 2014/15, the council needs to find a further £2m in savings due to a further 13 per cent reduction in Government funding and inflationary costs.
The East Lindsey Labour group abstained from voting on the proposed budget.
The group's leader Tony Howard said:"This is not an East Lindsey budget. It is one that has been managed to be pulled together to meet the demands of national government.
"We understand that the portfolio holder has tried hard with what he has got. If we had a different Government, we would not be in this position, therefore this budget would not have been proposed at this time."
Councillor Jeremy Webb said future budget pressures and changes being implemented by national government could mean the district council may not exist after 2018.
He said: "The money is not there for us to exist. We should be working with town and parish councils who will be taking on the burden when this tier of government goes."
Councillor Edward Mossop said: "There is a sword hanging over us in terms of the three tier system."
Councillor John Upsall urged councillors to get involved with the council's transformation programme by 2014/15 as difficult decisions will have to be taken.
He added: "We can only do what we can with the money sent to us. We really need to look at some of our assets as potentially there is some money to be earned. We should not have to cut front line services until we really have to."