March 1, 2021 4.16 pm This story is over 32 months old

South Kesteven approves £5 council tax rise

COVID pressure on services

South Kesteven District Council has approved a £5 council tax increase for 2021/22.

This will take the authority’s Band D share of the tax to £168.62 — a 3.06% increase.

Approval was given in the authority’s Full Council meeting on Monday afternoon, following scrutiny in its cabinet and joint overview and scrutiny committee early this year.

Kelham Cooke, Leader of South Kesteven District Council said in the meeting: “The budget setting process this year has been immensely difficult as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pressure that it has put on our communities and businesses, and on the services we deliver as a council.”

A report before councillors said: “The scale of the financial challenges ahead are significant and largely as a result of the external environment namely a further delay in the national review of the local government funding formula and the detrimental impact the pandemic has had on the council’s resources.”

The report said the financial outlook for the district “remains uncertain”, however, notes a number of settlements and financial measures announced by government including the income losses compensation scheme.

A number of national reductions in funding means SKDC predicts its income will reduce from £18.5 million to £13.4 million by 2024-25 and, so money will have to come from elsewhere.

Last week, North Lincolnshire Council approved a 3.48% council tax increase for 2021/22, which works out as a 45p weekly increase for a Band D property in the authority.

It’s neighbour, North East Lincolnshire Council has approved a 4.98% council tax increase for 2021/22 – with 3% going towards adult social care. This will see a £1.52 per week increase for a Band D property – £79.04 annually.

By Wednesday evening, all Lincolnshire councils will have agreed on their budgets and council tax increases for 2021/22.

Nationally, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will announce details of his spring budget on Wednesday, where he is predicted to extend the furlough scheme until at least May.