Investment boost to cover tax freeze and grant cuts

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West Lindsey District Council plans an investment boom to cover cuts in government grants while maintaining services and council tax at current levels.

In its budget report last week, West Lindsey District Council announced a council tax freeze for the fourth year out of five, as well as more than £9 million of capital investment towards major projects.

This includes £1.55M in land and property investment, £5.8M on housing-related schemes, £735,000 on ‘E-accessibility’ and £355,000 on community projects. Over the ‘medium term’ WLDC has a £21M capital programme, members were also told.

Council Leader Jeff Summers said the council’s ‘entrepreneurial approach’ will generate revenues to counter cuts in government grants, but WLDC still needs to find £2.5m in savings over the next four years to achieve a sustainable budget position which doesn’t rely on government grants.

A five year financial strategy, which members approved last week, would deliver “all our services” plus “financial and social benefits across the district,” he said.

There would also be “organisational transformation” in its commercial approach.

However, Independent Chris Darcell (Fiskerton) voted against, saying: “I fear we are going where angels fear to tread. I don’t think we have the expertise in place.”