Setting a balanced budget with commitment to development and cheapest council tax rate

Leader of East Lindsey District Council Doreen Stephenson.
Leader of East Lindsey District Council Doreen Stephenson.
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Today (Wednesday) the draft budget for 2015-16 will be put to Full Council for consideration.

Developing the 2015/16 budget has not been an easy 
task for councillors or 
officers.

The council is required by law to set a balanced budget – this means expenditure mustn’t exceed the income the council expects to receive.

This coming year the council has needed to save a further £1.9 million, or 32 per cent, in its running costs – this is in addition to money the council has already saved in previous years.

Just like families and businesses, the council has to cut its cloth accordingly and in some cases look at doing things differently - such as in the case of the Magna Vitae Trust for Culture and Leisure which now provides some services on behalf of the council.

While it has been imperative that the council saves money where it can, it is also important to the council that it continues to invest in areas that are important to local people.

The council has a clear commitment to develop more affordable housing so that local people can get onto the property ladder; the council is investing in broadband that is sufficient to support the district’s growing businesses allowing the local economy to grow and prosper; and as many are aware investment is needed in flood defences in Louth and Horncastle to allow people in these areas of flood risk to feel safe in their own homes. The draft budget to be discussed at council also includes a proposal to invest £200,000 in play park improvements across the district.

These are just some of the investments that are being recommended to council for the year ahead.

The proposal in relation to the district council’s element of council tax is to increase it by 1.95 per cent - an extra 13p per month for those living in a band D property. This means that if the budget is approved, East Lindsey residents would still pay the lowest rate of district council tax in Lincolnshire.