More council tax increases on way for Skegness residents

Council tax bills across East Lindsey are likely to put an even bigger squeeze on household budgets. ANL-180301-093635001
Council tax bills across East Lindsey are likely to put an even bigger squeeze on household budgets. ANL-180301-093635001

Anticipated rises in council tax bills across East Lindsey are likely to put an even bigger squeeze on household budgets in the coming year, it can be revealed.

In addition to Skegness Town Council’s proposed 4.75 percent rise in the precept, or 7-8p a week for Band D property, it is likely many town, district and county councils will be unable to avoid an increase in their share of council tax bills.

Lincolnshire Police also look set to raise additional funding from taxpayers.

Although councils are still finalising details, there is speculation the bill for an average ‘Band D’ property could increase by more than £80 in Lincolnshire .

Larger authorities have been hit by more cuts in Government funding.

With inflation running at more than three per cent and prices rising across the board, a hike in council tax is probably the last thing families will want to hear in the New Year.

At the same time, authorities admit they could be forced to cut even frontline services in a bid to balance the books.

The largest share of tax bills is made up by county and district ‘levies.’

Locally, the percentage increase Lincolnshire County Council and East Lindsey District Council can impose is capped by Government legislation.

The County Council can add an additional increase - provided that relates to funding for social care.

The County Council has already confirmed it plans to raise its share of bills by the maximum figure allowed (around 5.9 per cent) which includes the figure for social care. It is expected ELDC will follow suit, although the increase will be lower than the county.

‘Capping’ does not apply to town and parish councils.

For example, last year Mablethorpe’s town council increase was one of the highest in the county - 37 per cent, or a rise of almost £25 - with councillors saying they were forced to raise extra revenue to take on more responsibilities handed down from county and district level.

As for cuts, the spotlight could fall on social care, leisure, education, and transport - with the County Council looking to make savings of £22m. The authority will use £30m of reserves to offset more austere cuts.

Skegness Town Council will make its final decision on the precept when it meets on Wednesday, January 10.

The proposed 4.75 percent rise includes taking controversial plans to replace the Tower Pavilion in Skegness to the next stage.

At December’s meeting, councillors voted in favour of taking on responsibility for building new facilities and gaining control of assets in Tower Gardens, now operated by East Lindsey District Council, to generate an income and therefore ease the burden on ratepayers.

The rise in precept was proposed after a consultation showed 84 per cent of residents who participated are in favour of the Tower Pavilion replacement project principles.

The intention of the 4.75 percent rise would be that it would be the same in future years.

Residents will have the opportunity to speak during the first 15 minutes of the council’s January budget meeting at Skegness Town Hall at 7pm.