Budget squeeze to have ‘big impact’ on council warning

Lincolnshire County Council Leader, Coun Martin Hill.
Lincolnshire County Council Leader, Coun Martin Hill.
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Council services in South Holland and Lincolnshire are facing cuts of nearly £120 million over the next four years, including “a massive £60 million next year”.

The stark warning came from Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, in his annual statement which described “the huge financial challenge facing the council over the next few years.”

Despite getting an extra £7.7 million from the Government for winter road gritting, bus services and children’s centres, Coun Hill claimed that the total amount given to Lincolnshire from Whitehall (the centre of government in the UK) will have fallen by 90 per cent in 2020.

Coun Hill said: “Local authoritiies, including this one, are experiencing unprecented challenges.

“In terms of income, our general grant from the Government will be just £20 million - a reduction of 90 per cent on the start of the decade.

“At the same time, we are having to meet the costs of the National Living Wage, as well as extra employer National Insurance contributions.

“In stark financial terms, we have to reduce our spending by £41 million this year - on top of all the savings we have already achieved since 2011.

“We may then have to find further reductions of £78 million over the next three years, including next year’s savings target which already stands at a massive £60 million.”

However, Coun Hill did offer some support to a new Greater Lincolnshire authority which he claimed “could boost the local economy by as much as £8 billion, as well as creating 29,000 new jobs and 100,000 extra homes.”