Tuesday, 4 March 2014

No Council Tax Increase in West Lindsey

West Lindsey District Council has announced it will not increase its share of the Council Tax for 2014/15.
The freeze was announced in the council’s budget report, submitted to council on Monday, March 3, which also included plans for more than £2 million investment towards major projects. Leader of the council, Cllr. Jeff Summers said:
“We know times are hard for many people so we are delighted to be able to freeze Council Tax protecting residents from increased bills.”
The decision means that from April, residents will continue to pay the 2013/14 rate, meaning council tax has been frozen in three out of four y
Cllr. Jeff Summers, Conservative Leader
 of West Lindsey District Council
ears. Cllr. Summers added:
“The council’s entrepreneurial approach is being used to counter the continuing reductions in government grant with income generation and cost reduction offsetting the impact and allowing the council to freeze council tax. We continue to generate more income to avoid tax increases and are working hard to support communities and regenerate the district.
“We are also very pleased to be able to invest in major projects that we believe will help the district grow and prosper including rural transport, community and business grants and increasing housing availability.”

Those projects include:
  • £250,000 grant funding available to invest in communities, providing finance in a way that helps people to help themselves
  • £37,000 to support the Councillor Initiative Fund, which has already helped thousands of projects across the district
  • £300,000 to develop a solution to rural transport connectivity
  • £1.1m investment to return empty homes back into use
  • £640,000 business relocation fund and commercial grant schemes to provide an attractive incentive to encourage business growth
It has also pledged its support to a new flooding relief scheme. It will offer 100% Council Tax exemption for up to one year, to support residents affected by flooding.

The council managed to find £1million of savings at a time when the budget allocation from central government is drastically reducing each year. However, the council is not complacent as it still needs to find £2million over the next two years to balance the budget. Cllr. Summers added:
“We recognise it is a testing time for public services generally but we are focusing on getting the job done. This means doing more of what local people value and protecting frontline services as we said we would.
“This budget is about growth and investment, at a time when others around us are looking at reducing, cutting and stopping, but we recognise this is key to our future. We will continue to drive forward efficiency plans and streamline services to deliver what our customers value”

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