East Lindsey District Council has today (December 8) announced a 41 point ‘Transformation Programme’ - including projects to save money and generate income - in order to address an expected budget shortfall of at least £6,000,000 over the next four years.
Since 2010/11, the Council has already saved £4,500,000 from its operating costs following significant reductions in the Government funding that is received to support local services.
The further £6,000,000 is in addition to the savings already made.
Since 2011, the Council’s net revenue budget of £22,683,000 to provide services has been reduced to £18,242,000, and it is expected to fall to £12,000,000 by 2020.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Craig Leyland, said: “In October when we announced the scale of the challenge ahead for this Council we knew that some very tough decisions would need to be made in order to balance the books.
“This Council needs to save money and increase the income it generates – there is no getting away from that fact – and the challenges need to be faced head on. Failure to do so will mean the Council will not be able to set a balanced budget, which it is required to do so by law.
“The Council continues to review all the services it provides on an ongoing basis in order to identify opportunities to be more effective and efficient, however that approach alone is no longer enough.
“The programme of change the Council is announcing will affect all areas of the Council over the next few years with a very clear goal - to rely as little as possible on Government funding to provide services to the people of East Lindsey.
“Only by taking this approach will this Council have complete control of its own destiny, including the services it provides. A number of the projects require consultation and detailed consideration through the budget setting process.
“Although the need to make savings is critically important to the future of the Council, it’s also about modernising the Council’s operations.”
The Council’s change programme for the next four years covers the themes of Asset Management (managing the Council’s assets in the most cost effective way for taxpayers); Partnerships (partnership working with other Councils, private, public and voluntary sector organisations across a range of areas of work); Service Modernisation (better use of technologies); Increased Income (how the Council invests money and the money generated through services); and Boost The Economy and Job Creation (focusing any resources that are available on supporting economic growth).
Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property, Councillor Nick Guyatt, said: “First and foremost, the Council must focus on delivering its core services – those services the Council has a legal responsibility to provide.
“In addition the Council will continue support the most vulnerable people living in East Lindsey. A further priority for the Council will be to have a clear focus on helping to improve the economy of the area by helping businesses to grow and prosper and create more jobs.
“Resources are scarce and getting scarcer. The Council already has a lot less money than it used to. Where appropriate the District Council will be looking to Town and Parish Councils to see if they will consider delivering services in their area so they can be more focused on the needs of individual communities, and working more closely with partner organisations in order to drive down costs. This Council may have to stop providing some of the services it has traditionally provided – or at the very least provide them to a standard that costs less.
”Whilst change is always a time of uncertainly, particularly for the Council’s own workforce, it is hoped the Programme of change can be delivered without the need for compulsory redundancies. Where jobs do change or are no longer required those affected will be given the opportunity to undertake any suitable alternative roles within the organisation.”
• ELDC has arranged to brief the business community on the programme at a Louth Town Hall meeting on December 16 at 6.30pm. Any businesses with an interest are invited to attend.
For more information, visit www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/facingthechallenge