This week’s guest column comes from Coun John Upsall, portfolio holder for finance at
East Lindsey District Council...
People often ask me what they get for their council tax so I wanted to use this column as an opportunity to explain a little about the services we provide and the work that we do to support families and businesses.
Many of the services we provide have a real impact on lives locally, either directly or indirectly. From those high-profile services such as refuse collections, to the one-to-one support we provide to people who often have nowhere else to turn.
In recent years, like families and businesses, the council has needed to do more with less money being available. We’ve found new ways of working to help make big savings, but the challenge to continue to make savings to protect services continues and the decisions become more difficult to make.
People living in East Lindsey currently pay the lowest rate of council tax in Lincolnshire.Most homes in East Lindsey fall into a council tax band B, meaning of the council tax the homeowner pays, the district council keeps £1.79 to provide its services each month. The other 92 per cent goes to Lincolnshire County Council (75 per cent), Lincolnshire Police (14 per cent), and some town and parish councils (around three per cent).
Here’s a few figures to put the services we provide into context:
l We empty around 4,500,000 grey and black wheeled bins each year
l We empty around 500,000 street litter bins each year
l We spend around £1m per year keeping the District’s streets clean
l We monitor CCTV cameras 24/7
l We clear over 2,000 fly-tips each year
l We inspect over 1,300 businesses to ensure food hygiene standards continue to be met
lWe housed, in the last year, 903 people who would otherwise have been homeless
lWe gave housing advice to over 5,000 people
l We’ve made 271 grants to community groups through our councillor and community grant schemes to improve the lives of local people
l We gave granted 194 Disabled Facility Grants
l We provided support and guidance to 74 businesses
lWe organise over 300 stall markets each year, including Farmers’ and Craft Markets
lWe run three major leisure centres with a footfall of over 750,000 people; plus Skegness’ Embassy Theatre
lWe spend over £150,000 on tourist promotion for the district
This is just the tip of the iceberg – there’s much more beside.
In addition to the day-to-day services we provide, we’re currently investing £1.5m to support small businesses develop through our Rural Development Fund and £1m to improve rural broadband. The council is also investing £2.5m to deliver 210 more affordable homes over the next few years.
We will continue to work hard to try and protect the services provided to local people.