Local residents will have warmly welcomed news from the Conservative-led district authority that Council Tax will be frozen for the second year running.
At the March meeting of the Council, on Monday, 5th March 2012, Leader, Cllr. Burt Keimach, Conservative (Market Rasen Ward), introduced the Conservative Group's Budget which received unanimous approval from all parties.
Central government is making big changes to the way local authorities are funded and this is having a big impact on local councils. This year alone has seen a cut of 24.7% in the money the authority receive from the government. Setting the current financial picture for fellow councillors, Cllr. Keimach said:
"This year we face new problems in the form of further government cuts that will stretch councils across the nation to meet their statutory obligations. This is not too difficult to understand because the coalition government has vowed to eliminate the structural budget deficit by 2015 and to radically reform the way public services and benefits are provided.
"This near catastrophe did not materialise by itself. There were many national and international factors that played their nefarious parts. But when it struck us here in the UK the Labour government of the day did not choose a corrective course. Instead they kept up their near suicidal spending regime, to the extent that now we have a huge deficit that exceeds £120m per day on the interest charges alone."Nevertheless West Lindsey is in good shape to weather the current storm. The authority have no debts. Have made no plans to borrow. There have been no redundancies, and no-one foresees any in the immediate future.
The authority plans to make £1m of savings, combined with extra income. Which includes plans for a greater use of paperless working, suspension of the green wheelie bin collections and new ways of operating the Trinity Arts centre in Gainsborough, to name but a few.
£1.1m is being allocated by the authority to tackle empty homes and deliver affordable properties.
£550k will be contributed by the authority, working with Lincolnshire County Council and other partners, to deliver super fast broad band.
£1.35m from the Growth and Investment reserve will be used to deliver the regeneration of the Elswitha Quarter of Gainsborough and optimise current assets.
With a Council Tax freeze, investment in local projects to help deliver jobs and prosperity, despite the gloom it is Conservatives that are delivering for local people.