Chancellor George Osborne’s latest public spending review includes a proposal for a further cut in local government spending of 10%, which would affect Lincolnshire County Council, along with the City of Lincoln Council and district authorities.
This cut is on top of the previously-announced 30% cuts in local council budgets, which resulted in service cuts and job losses across many services, as well the introduction of new charges, such as the £25 per year green waste collection fee.
Councillor Patricia Bradwell, Deputy Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The exact impact of today’s announcement on the council is not yet clear. However, it seems likely that further savings will have to be found.
“The council is committed to playing its part in balancing the nation’s books. Over the last two years the council has found significant savings, while also protecting priority services. We also have plans in place that will bring a further £67 million 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 the council will continue to call for a fairer deal for local residents.”
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, said: “This will continue to result in cuts in services that the council and the people it represents have valued over the years and utterly deplore having to lose. Public services cannot continue to take this level of punishment, nor should they have to.
“The current gap between national income and expenditure (the deficit) is not about excessive spending, it is about loss of tax revenues and the grossly unfair, but largely unseen distribution of the tax burden between rich and poor.” Read his column on the cuts.
Councillor Marion Brighton OBE, Leader of North Kesteven District Council, said: “We are naturally very disappointed to learn that in his review of government spending for 2015/16 the Chancellor has outlined a further 10% cut in funding for local government, but we are not surprised.
“We await the finer detail of his statement and a breakdown of how this translates directly for North Kesteven, but this is exactly in line with what we have anticipated and budgeted ahead for.
“Over the past three years we have achieved savings of £2.5 million and have a plan in place to achieve a further £2.5 million in the coming three years to meet budget requirements.
“This has been, and will continue to be, achieved through forensic examination of all of our finances, close scrutiny of all service areas, development of strong partnerships and a careful and judicious investments strategy.
“To coin the chancellor’s own phrase, we are the model of lean local government in North Kesteven, maintaining our status for delivering high quality services in a cost effective, value for money way which draws a high degree of satisfaction from our residents.”
“I also note the prospect of extending the freeze grant for Council Tax for a further two years and a £3 billion investment in affordable housing, which is to be welcomed as building on what we are already pioneering locally.”