The impact of COVID-19 put a £1.5 million black hole in South Holland District Council’s budget for this year, but neighbouring South Kesteven leaders say they have financial protection.
South Holland District Council faces a £1.52m budget shortage, which it wants to halve by scrapping a 2% staff pay rise, and compensate with some extra homeless and support grants from the government – reducing the gap to £761,000.
Cllr Peter Coupland, South Holland’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for finance, told his colleagues: “Finances are being seriously impacted by COVID.”
Thus, budget figures are subject to changes before a further draft is presented to cabinet on February 16. The new financial year starts in April.
Leader of South Holland District Council, Lord Gary Porter said: “Let’s hope [the figures] are different in a positive way, rather than a negative way, but different nonetheless they will be.”
Meanwhile, South Kesteven District Council approved its budget for 2021/22, including a £5 increase to council tax for band D properties. However, it will have to come back following consultation and will go before Full Council in March.
Part of their budget includes a government grant of £362,000 “which will provide some financial level of protection against unforeseen COVID costs,” said Cllr Adam Stokes.
Similar to South Holland, he added: “The overall visuals [numbers] are not immune from variation, and fluctuation.”
Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Kelham Cooke said: “I think none of us can doubt, there’s a challenging 12 months ahead of us. Even with a COVID recovery.”