At their meeting on Wednesday evening, councillors acknowledged the unprecedented challenges faced by all residents and businesses in the district and outlined the challenges facing the Councils finances, including ongoing uncertainty in terms of Central Government funding.
A number of measures have been included in the budget which aim to address some of the issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and support the area’s economic recovery, whilst still ensuring the Council remains financially resilient and able to deliver the services it has to by law, including support to the most vulnerable residents.
Some of the measures announced include:
- A re-distribution of revenue funding to provide additional focus on economic growth, market town investment, deprivation, commercial expansion and reducing the impact of the Council's services on the environment.
- A Market Towns investment fund to help support economic growth (building on the existing programme of interventions along the coast, including the Towns Fund investment in Mablethorpe and Skegness, announced by government in the Budget).
- Increased capital investment in Council assets to help generate more income, reduce maintenance and other running costs and help deliver services more efficiently.
The budget also includes a Council Tax rise of 3.49% – an extra 9.5p per week for a Band D property. The District Council’s element of the Council Tax bill remains one of the lowest in the country and is 8% of the overall Council Tax bill it collects.
The Council will also look to explore further ways to secure additional income from commercial activities, and continues to see ongoing savings arising from reduced expenditure on supplies and services, staffing and vehicle costs – many of which have stemmed from the District Council’s Strategic Alliance with Boston Borough Council.
Portfolio Holder for Finance, Coun Richard Fry, said: “We are now over a year into the Covid-19 pandemic and it has had a profound effect on our finances as a council and the finances of our residents and businesses. This budget will ensure that the Council can remain financially resilient, as we look to maximise our income and savings, whilst also supporting our communities and providing the basis for our area’s economic recovery.”