ELDC has shed nearly 400 jobs due to cuts

Stuart Davy
Stuart Davy

East Lindsey District Council has shed almost half its workforce during the last six years, the News can exclusively reveal.

In 2008, ELDC employed almost 800 members of staff but that figure has reduced to 433 this year - with around 30 of those positions funded by external grants.

The figures were revealed by ELDC’s chief executive Stuart Davy.

Mr Davy was speaking at the annual parish/town meeting in Coningsby.

He said when he first joined ELDC in 2008, there were nearly 800 members of staff.

That figure was cut to 685 by 2010 - and to 433 in 2014.

Mr Davy said the reductions were largely down to significant cuts in funding from central Government and the introduction of new ways of working, such as the establishment of Compass Point Business Services Ltd in partnership with South Holland District Council.

Mr Davy revealed ELDC had been forced to reduce its budget by between £2m and £3m for several years - while maintaining frontline services.

He said the current annual budget was around £19m but outlined reductions of approximately £2m had already been put in place for 2014 with a similar amount needed for 2015 - with further reductions likely to be required for 2016 onwards.

Mr Davy went on to outline how ELDC was forging closer working links with neighbouring authorities in a bid to save money.

He also said the number of councillors would be cut in time for the 2015 election. The current figure of 60 will be reduced to 55.

He spoke about changes to green waste collections and plans to set up a ‘Trust’ to run some of the council’s leisure facilities, subject to council agreement.

He revealed some of the targets the council had over the next five years with regard to economic generation and housing but warned the period from 2015-2019 promised to be ‘even more challenging.’

Mr Davy faced several questions during a public forum, including complaints from angry residents living in Milson Close in Coningsby.

They have lost a battle to stop 66 new homes being built on the Kings Manor Estate.

Residents told Mr Davy that some of the documents containing their objections to the homes were not even looked at.

They said they felt like they had been “walked over” by the council and had not been listened to.

Mr Davy agreed that original plans for the development seemed unclear - a point that had been raised by Coningsby Town Council earlier in the planning process. The matter was referred back to ELDC’s planning committee for further consideration.

He confirmed the application by Chestnut Homes had been given the green light and said that only applicants - and not objectors - could appeal.

Residents stressed they were concerned about an increase in construction traffic - and the safety of children.

Mr Davy said any health and safety issues should be raised with the Health and Safety Executive and added any damage to footpaths or road surfaces was a matter for the county council.

Mr Davy was also asked about money ELDC had ‘lost’ in the controversial Icelandic Bank collapse. He revealed the council still had £300,000 in an Icelandic Bank but the money was accruing interest and would be returned.