November 29, 2018 10.51 am This story is over 43 months old

North East Lincolnshire Council struggles to “ride the storm” of austerity

Tough times ahead for the council

The “leafy suburbs of Westminster will be able to ride out the storm” of austerity but places like North East Lincolnshire are set to suffer as they look to slash £6-8 million from the budget next year.

The authority’s cabinet on Wednesday was warned by Councillor Peter Wheatley of “severe cuts which will impact on the population” in the years to come.

Council leader Ray Oxby, following the meeting, said the declaration austerity is over “is a lie”.

“Leafier suburbs of Westminster, which have high council tax base because their properties and industries are prospering, can afford to ride the storm, unlike places like Blackpool, North East Lincolnshire, Salford and big cities and towns in the North of England,” he said.

Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, Councillor Ray Oxby.

By 2020, the authority will have lost 40% of their annual revenue spend, while the Central Government revenue support grant will reduce to zero.

“Hence the need to tighten our belts and reduce some services otherwise we could end up like Northampton County Council, which is bankrupt, and other authorities that are really struggling,” said Councillor Oxby.

“It doesn’t help by having a Government that’s not giving any clarity after 2020 as to how the funding regime for Local Authorities will work.”

“It is like a cliff edge we’re all very worried about that. We’re trying to grow our businesses and economy but without support for areas like ours with our huge challenges including adult social care, and adults and looked after children – which amounts to 70% of our spend – we’re facing a very challenging time.”

He called for Central Government to “give recognition to a fair basis” of support for areas like North East Lincolnshire which he said suffers particularly from “significant pockets of deprivation, an ageing population, a low council tax base, and people who need a lot of social care support.”

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