Lincolnshire County Council handed extra £7.7m to ease cuts

Lincolnshire County Council has been handed an extra £7.7 million in central government grants to ease significant cuts to public services over the next two years.

Councillors will be turning to the results of a public consultation to determine how the money will be used ahead of a full council meeting on February 19.

A previously reported, £42 million of cuts were outlined by the council in reaction to a reduction of £27.58 million in government grants.

A council tax rise of 3.95% was also approved in order to ‘balance the books’.

The ‘hardest hit’ councils across England have now been promised an extra £300 million over the next two years in an announcement by Local Government Secretary Greg Clark on February 8.

Lincolnshire County Council will receive an extra £7.7 million, £5 million of which will be for the financial year 2016/17.

Councillor Martin Hill, leader of the county council, said: “We thank our Lincolnshire MPs for their excellent work in campaigning for extra funding and Greg Clark for finding the additional £7.7m over the next two years.

“However, this needs to be seen in the context that even after this additional funding we are still facing over £37m cuts in government grant over the next two years.

“We will have to look at how best we can use this reduction in cuts in the light of the feedback to our consultation before we make final decisions on the budget at the full council meeting on February 19.

“The council is still facing some hugely difficult decisions regarding budgets and services over the next few years.”

As previously reported, pothole repairs and winter gritting were the highest rated in priority for the 8,087 Lincolnshire residents who took part in a budget survey.

Budget survey results published by Lincolnshire Council Council.

Budget survey results published by Lincolnshire Council Council.

No extra funding has been awarded to the City of Lincoln Council, which is facing the fourth most extreme reduction in spending power nationally – its government grants dropping by 99% over the next four years.

City of Lincoln Council Leader Ric Metcalfe said previously: “In cash terms the council will see a reduction in its government grant over the next four years from £2.585m in 2015/16 to £22,350 in 2019/20, equivalent to a 99% drop.

“This is a government bent on dogmatically cutting public spending regardless of the consequences for local people.”