Lincolnshire councils’ tax set to rise

Council taxes look set to rise across Lincolnshire again this year as authorities begin consulting on their latest proposals.

NKDC offices, Sleaford. EMN-190810-174414001
NKDC offices, Sleaford. EMN-190810-174414001

South Holland District Council’s cabinet on Tuesday voted in favour of putting forward a 2.83 per cent rise – the equivalent of a £4.95 rise for a Band D property. The authority estimates it will bring in an extra £276,000, as it looks to make £505,000 of savings next year.

Meanwhile, South Kesteven District Council’s joint scrutiny committee and cabinet have both approved plans which include an assumed £5 council tax rise. The amount, which is the maximum rise a council can apply before it triggers a referendum, is hoped to bring in a further £300,000 for the authority.

Councils face a number of challenges in the year ahead, including reviews over fairer funding and uncertainty over some funding streams.

SKDC leader Coun Kelham Cooke told his colleagues at cabinet on Thursday: “There are continued challenges for local authorities, and that’s nation-wide. but there are many positive signs in this report and we should feel optimistic about the financial year ahead.”

Last week Lincolnshire County Council voted to move ahead with a three per cent rise (£40 for band D) in council tax.

On Monday, City of Lincoln Council’s senior leaders will be recommended to approve a 1.89 per cent increase in council tax. The rise will be equivalent to a £4.16 increase for a band D property.

A report before the authority’s Executive Committee said the pandemic “continues to cast a shadow” on finances, on top of a “lack of any form of clarity on future funding settlements”.

The authority predicts a £1.5 million funding gap and warns it will be “left with little option but to revert to more traditional cost cutting measures”.

North Kesteven District Council’s draft budget will also go before members of the Performance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny panel on Monday.

The report before the committee, which will take its findings to a later executive committee, notes an option to take a £5 increase, which it said will generate an extra £58,600.

The report estimates an extra £4.487million spend in its budget and warns that although the finances are balanced this year there are further increases to come.

West Lindsey District Council has not yet discussed its council tax rises, while East Lindsey District and Boston Borough Councils are not set to meet again until late this month or early February.

All the councils must go through consultation, with the budgets set to return in the next month or two for a final vote before the start of the new financial year in April.