Results revealed: Over 8,000 residents have their say on £42m Lincolnshire council cuts

Pothole repairs and winter gritting were high in priority for the 8,087 people who responded to a county-wide survey on proposed public service cuts – with heritage and library services low on the list.

The results for the budget survey asking residents to decide how severely they’d like Lincolnshire County Council services to be cut were published on Thursday, February 4.

Budget survey results published by Lincolnshire Council Council. (Click to enlarge)

Budget survey results published by Lincolnshire Council Council. (Click to enlarge)

As previously reported, the announcement of the council’s central government funding came as a significant blow, with grants slashed by £27.58 million.

As part of a ‘public engagement exercise’ Lincolnshire residents were asked for their thoughts on which services they’d want to see retained at the current financial backing, which they’d want to cut and which services they’d be prepared to see stopped entirely.

At the top of the list of services to be protected from cuts was pothole filling and repairs, followed by winter gritting and road safety work including school crossing patrols.

At the bottom was services to encourage people to lead healthy lifestyles, heritage and library services.

Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Councillor Martin Hill, said: “We’re really grateful to everyone who took the time to fill in our budget survey – either online or in County News.

“We hope it highlighted to Lincolnshire residents the scale of the financial challenges we are facing and the fact that we will have to stop some of the services we currently provide to make the huge savings required.

“It was a very valuable exercise and the results have given a clear idea where public priorities lie to help us make the difficult decisions we face.

“We are expecting details of our financial settlement in the next week, when will we be able to put forward final proposals for how much money we could allocate to each service.”

Also towards to top half of the list was the retention of rural bus route subsidies.

Many have passionately defended the subsidisation of bus services in the county, campaigners handing in a 5,500-stong petition at the Lincolnshire County Council offices on February 4.

The council has said it is not expected the results of the survey will spark any changes to the proposals.

Executive councillors agreed on budget recommendations this week which would bring about £42 million of cuts to local services and a council tax rise of 3.95% in order to balance the books.

They now await the full government settlement confirmation before a final decision on the proposed county council budget for the year 2016/17 is made at a meeting of the full council on February 19.