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Councils prepare for further cuts in government grants

Lincolnshire County Council and the City of Lincoln Council are preparing for further cuts to their services after the government announced on Wednesday the latest funding settlements.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said funding of £26 billion in 2013-14 represented a cut of around 1.7% in spending power for local councils, and that no council would face a reduction worse than 8.8% due to a new efficiency support grant.

The City and County councils are now looking over the figures they received from the government and interpreting what the cuts will mean in real terms.

Both councils said they are still working on crunching the numbers and expecting further cuts to local services.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, said:

“This is taking place against the backdrop of a difficult economic environment and increased demand for our services.

“These cuts will be the toughest we have ever faced, but we will do our utmost to minimise the impact that they have on our residents. However, we will be forced to make some very difficult decisions.

“It is inevitable these cuts will mean we have to offer less as a council – what we will offer will be done well, but we will no longer be able to provide all of the services we currently do.”

Councillor Kelly Smith, Executive Member for Finance and HR at Lincolnshire County Council, said:

“Although we haven’t had time to drill down into the detail of the announcement, we’re expecting to face further challenges, meaning additional savings will be needed. However, we’re committed to protecting priority services while playing our part in balancing the nation’s books.

“Over the last two years, we’ve found savings of around £80m, and have plans in place that will bring a further £45m of savings over the next two years.

“However, it’s important that everyone pulls their weight, and that Lincolnshire isn’t asked to do more than its fair share. Rural authorities like Lincolnshire still do not receive the same level of overall funding as urban areas. So we’ll continue to call for a fairer deal for local residents.”