December 17, 2020 11.42 am This story is over 41 months old

County council saved £1.9m this year, but has a £4m budget gap for 2021

Leader assures they have reserves

Lincolnshire County Council will underspend by £1.9 million this year, but still has £4 million to find for 2021’s budget gap.

Andrew Crookham, executive director for resources, said: “Local councils have played a major role in supporting our communities during the pandemic, and this has meant many unforeseen costs.

“However, the government has provided additional funding, and our current projections suggest we will underspend by around £1.9 million this year.

“We will shortly be beginning our budget-setting process for next year, and we currently estimate there will be a budget gap of around £4 million.”

Cllr Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, added: “The council will need to address how we balance the books as we go through our budget setting process for next year.

“While there is currently an estimated budget gap of £4 million, it’s important to remember that this represents a very small percentage of our overall budget.”

He added: “We have underspent this year, and we do have reserves we can draw on, if necessary.

“That said, we will continue to push the government on the need for 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.

Last week, Lincolnshire councillors unanimously rejected an allowance increase for 2021, saving £30,000.

There was some discussion in Lincolnshire’s Council meeting that this could go into next year’s budget. However, out of the four million gap, the £30,000 would only make up for 0.75% of the money required for the budget.