Council tax rise after ‘disappointing’ budget

Jeff Summers EMN-160216-121902001
Jeff Summers EMN-160216-121902001

West Lindsey taxpayers will see their district council tax bill go up 2.59 per cent as the authority looks to save a ‘challenging’ £2.2 million over the next four years.

The news comes as WLDC’s budget report also reveals a capital investment plan to spend £61 million over the next five years.

The investment will focus on service improvements, commercial opportunities and growth.

Growth includes a £20 million investment to support the regeneration of Gainsborough.

West Lindsey District Council leader Coun Jeff Summers said: “The council has to find ambitious ways it can protect services that residents’ value.

“It means we need to continue to develop commercial opportunities and encourage economic and housing growth to help pay for these services.

“As an entrepreneurial council we recognise that we need to have a clear, robust plan of how we are going to support our communities and this capital investment programme is key.”

The outcome of the local government financial settlement for 2016/17, the Comprehensive Spending Review and Rural Service Delivery Grant, means the council needs to make further reductions in its net expenditure, of about £2.2 million over the next four years.

This means council tax for 2016/17 will increase by 2.59 per cent - the second increase in the past six years.

This equates to just less than10p a week for residents on a band D property.

The council anticipates the remaining funding gap will be closed by further commercial opportunities and changing the way it works.

WLDC policy and resources committee chairman Coun Tom Regis said: “The outcome of the local government financial settlement for 2016/17 was disappointing and has provided a challenge to the authority.

“However, we believe the plans that have been put in place will ensure that residents continue to be well served and receive quality services.

“We consulted with residents on our plans last year and we were pleased to receive general support for our proposals. We have managed to reduce our spending over the last four years by £3.8 million and fixed council tax for three out of four years but further funding cuts means we have to do more.”