City Council sets new budget

The City of Lincoln Council Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), which sets out the authority’s finances for the next five years, has been approved.

Ratified at a Full Council at the Guildhall on March 1, MTFS details the income the council expects to receive and how much it plans to spend among others.

The strategy also deals with the reduced grant the council will receive from central government over the next two years.

The council needs make annual savings of £2.25 million by 2013/14, with a further £500,000 savings predicted by 2015/16—a total of £2.75 million.

To actually make the savings, the City Council proposed a Next Steps savings programme, which reviews several unnamed services in four key areas.

Solutions proposed are working with other councils to provide services and cost cutting and reviewing the business while maximising income.

The council is yet to clearly outline which services will be affected by cuts.

“Rather than simply reducing or cutting services, we’re looking at each service in a measured way, finding out what we can realistically do with the reduced budget we have,” said Darren Grice, Leader of the City Council.

“We do have a significant savings target and there will be tough decisions to make, but we are doing it in a considered and careful manner,” he added.

Council tax frozen

A freeze in council tax was also approved at the Monday meeting, with the City Council using a central government grant equivalent to a 2.5% increase.

The grant of £160,139 amounts to a 2.5% council tax increase.

Both Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire Police have also agreed a freeze in their part of Council Tax.

Although the City Council collects council tax on behalf of the County Council and the police, it only retains around 16% of the total bill.

Around 80% of properties in Lincoln are either Band A or Band B, which will receive a total bill of £987.48 and £1152.06 respectively.

Of this £157.50 for a Band A property and £183.75 for a Band B property will go to the City Council.

The City Council Leader said: “Along with a lot of other local authorities in the country, we have taken advantage of the government grant and frozen our part of the Council Tax bill for the year.

“I’m pleased to say that the police and the County Council have followed suit, so Lincoln households will pay the same amount as they did last year.”

Source: City of Lincoln Council