November 25, 2020 4.09 pm This story is over 42 months old

Council hoped for more from chancellor’s spending review

Fairer funding for Lincolnshire still needed

Lincolnshire councillors welcomed additional funds announced in Wednesday’s Spending Review, but said the county needs more to be in line with other regions.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced funding for adult care, schools, skills and infrastructure across the UK, as well as £100 billion for infrastructure projects (including the Hykeham bypass) and £18 billion for COVID testing programmes.

Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council said: “Understandably the government has been focused on the pandemic for most of the year, and it’s clear further economic challenges lie ahead.

“We’ve already had significant financial support from the government to help balance the books, and we welcome the additional funding announced today for adult care, schools, skills and infrastructure.

“However, we still need to find long-term solutions to the major issues facing local councils. In the coming year, we need to see progress on the Fair Funding Review, the resetting of business rates, and the plan for making adult care more sustainable.

“The pandemic has underlined the vital role played by local councils in supporting our communities. It’s only right that the government recognises this and provides the funding we need to deliver the services our residents rely on.”

County Councillor Colin Davie, executive for economy and place, said: “The government is clearly all too aware of the economic impacts of the continuing coronavirus pandemic and these announcements show the commitment to addressing this so we can build forward stronger.

“We will ensure we are at the front and centre of bids for funding from the £4bn levelling up fund, and the shared prosperity fund – both of which will support our plans to boost skills and technology in the county.

“Combined with the government’s 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution announced last week, we expect this to also stimulate further growth in the green economy – a burgeoning industry across our area.

“We will await the details of the national infrastructure strategy, ensuring the projects we have lined up in Lincolnshire are a good fit and that we are ready to take opportunities to progress them.

“Finally, with our need for new housing in Lincolnshire and the importance of our construction industry, the £7bn for new homes also provides an incredibly welcome boost.

“Ultimately, with the right national support, in Lincolnshire we are on the front foot ready to help our industries come out fighting from an incredibly difficult year.”

However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said the chancellor “missed the opportunity” to help small businesses in the Spending Review.

Mr Cherry said: “The economic forecasts outlined today are stark. Our hopes of recovery will hinge on the success of small businesses.

“We need to see far more from this government where reducing tax on enterprise, facilitating start-ups and bringing down operating and employment costs are concerned.”