£6 million savings for council

ELDC leader Coun Craig Leyland and Coun Nick Guyatt
ELDC leader Coun Craig Leyland and Coun Nick Guyatt

East Lindsey District Council has vowed to do everything it can to protect essential frontline services - despite facing ‘a massive financial’ challenge amid more cuts in Government funding.

The authority admits it needs to make £6 million of savings over the next four years and is drawing up a longer-term strategy to deliver services without relying on any Government grants.

The announcement comes just a week after Lincolnshire County Council warned it could have to cut some services as it looks to balance its books.

ELDC says it has seen the funding it receives from Government slashed from £17,377,906 in 2010 to £11,157.447 in 2015.

It expects Government funding to reduce by a further £6 million over the next four years.

In order to bridge the gap and balance its books, ELDC admits it will need to reduce its running costs - or increase the income it receives from other sources.

In a report to the council, ELDC leader Craig Leyland said: “One of the major challenges facing us when we took office was Central Government’s pledge to cut £12 billion from its budget.

“Given that many Government departments such as health will continue to have their budgets ring fenced, it is sensible to assume that funding for Local Government will continue to decline at least at rates not dissimilar to the reductions we have experienced over the last five years.

“All the indications point in this direction.

“We await the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement with some trepidation but expect that district councils like East Lindsey will continue to be presented with very significant financial challenges moving forward.

“This council has had a good track record of being ‘ahead of the curve’ in preparing for such challenges and we need to remain well placed to respond to this next period.”

Coun Leyland revealed portfolio holder for finance Coun Nick Guyatt was working with executive board colleagues to draw up a robust plan which would end any reliance on Government grants.

Coun Guyatt said: “There is no getting away from the fact this council faces massive challenges in terms of its finances.

“Despite the need to make savings or increase income to the tune of £6 million in this time the council will continue to have a very clear focus on doing all it can to ensure the people of East Lindsey receive the services they need.

“There should be no doubt, however, there will have to be significant changes to the way the council operates and provides its services.”