Council tax frozen for another year

LINCOLNSHIRE County Council has again set one of the lowest council tax rates in the country – while also protecting frontline services.

The authority has confirmed that there will be no increase in its share of the council tax when bills are sent out in March.

LCC has also taken steps to protect services that have an impact on public safety and also set out plans for strategic investment for the future through its budget.

Which Councillor Colin Davie for Ingoldmells Rural, thinks is really good news for the future.

“Even in economic hard times the key rule is to ensure that there is an investment ready for the upturn. The county’s 2012 budget sets forward a substantial investment in people, communities and infrastructure designed to move Lincolnshire into the forefront of economic success, once these difficult years are behind us. Local county conservatives are delighted that this budget represented the optimistic future we all believe is around the corner,” explained Coun Davie.

The budget was approved at a meeting of full council on Friday, February 17 where councillors took the decision to freeze council tax despite a further fall in one of the council’s main sources of income – the ‘formula grant’ from the government.

In the next financial year, Lincolnshire will receive 7.6 per cent – or £16.1m – less to spend on services.

But despite drops in government funding, Councillor Kelly Smith, executive member for finance and HR, said: “This is a difficult time for everyone financially, and we feel it’s important to do all we can to make life easier for our residents. That’s why we’re freezing council tax for the second year running.”

In the last year, the council has made savings of over £50m which have been achieved without severe cuts to services.

“Despite our tough financial position, we have again protected services that have an impact on public safety, things like child protection, the fire service, and road maintenance. And we also continue to invest in major infrastructure projects, such as the Lincoln Eastern Bypass and next-generation broadband, which will pave the way for renewed prosperity in Lincolnshire,” added Coun Smith.

The freeze in the county council’s share of the council tax has been made possible by a special one-off government grant to authorities that agree to keep rises to 2.5 per cent or below.