A leading East Lindsey District councillor has warned there will be ‘pain for a lot of people’ after the cash-strapped authority backed a controversial budget for the next 12 months.
Residents across East Lindsey face a hike in council tax and cuts to many services following a decision by councillors to vote 32-17 in favour the budget put forward by the controlling Conservative group.
The authority needs to save £6million over the next four years after savage cuts in central Government funding.
Coun Nick Guyatt, portfolio holder for finance, said: “We are entering unchartered waters. There will be pain for a lot of people.”
He went on to confirm a council tax rise of just over four per cent - between £3.30 and £9.90 extra per annum, depending on property bands.
However, the increase for all homeowners will be significantly higher because Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Police and many town and parish councils are also set to demand extra cash from residents.
Coun Guyatt attributed ELDC’s financial position the eroding of financial support from Whitehall. He stressed the shortfall would be nowhere near covered by plans to give local authorities are the green light to retain business rates collected within their areas.
On the subject of service cuts, Coun Guyatt provided scant detail but said there would be “changes in the ways a lot of things are done”.
High on the cost-saving ‘hit list’ will be footway lighting - unless town and parish councils choose to pick up the tab.
Some public toilets are set to close and the council’s ‘Messenger’ bulletin will become online only to save printing and distribution costs.
A new £2 charge is set to be introduced for motorists choosing to use ELDC sites to park their cars after 6pm.
Funding cuts are on the cards for bowling greens, paddling pools, markets and other amenities, while town and parish councils will have to foot the bill for their own elections.
Some Customer Access Points also face the chop as do the grants that councillors make to pet projects within their wards.
There is bad news for ELDC’s workforce. There will be a ‘top-to-bottom re-evaluation of jobs, terms and conditions and how staff are remunerated.’ Current mileage allowances and sick pay arrangements will come under the spotlight.