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Council tax increase kept low to help those in need

Council tax increase kept low to help those most in need

16 February 2017

Residents will pay just 0.99 per cent more for general council services – the first rise in six years. The council will also implement the Government’s recommended three per cent adult social care precept that will enable more money to be spent on helping vulnerable adults. The 0.99 per cent increase is expected to be the lowest in the region.

Residents in a Band B property will pay £1,000.78 for general council services – around 80 pence more a month.

The three-year financial plan will see the council invest £134m through its capital programme. To create jobs, improve/construct buildings; improve roads leisure facilities and much more.

The council already has a programme of large-scale investment in schools, leisure and recreation, transport and roads, and flood defences. Today’s budget means work on this can continue with further investment in these areas.

As part of the plans, the council will set up a separate Trading Company and look at other ways to generate more money to pay for key services. This includes adopting a digital first approach to customer service and business processes by making best use of technology to deliver better services at lower cost. The council will also look to generate an extra £1m by 2020 from its commercial property portfolio.

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire council, said:

“This is the first time we have increased general council tax in six years. We need to ensure that we continue to provide essential services while at the same time, balance the books.

“This council’s track record for financial management is excellent year on year and once again, we have managed to deliver a budget that promises value for money.

“We will be continuing free parking and the Call Connect bus that provides a lifeline to those living in rural areas. We are also investing in leisure and recreation and expanding our visitor offer.

“There are lots of exciting plans in the pipeline that will have a major impact on the local economy. This includes extending the Ancholme Valley Way which has proved incredibly popular, Ancholme North Sports Centre, Belton and Bottesford Visitor Centres and much more.

“We are also investing £400,000 to build small business units, £4m for Trent and Humber flood work to protect homes from flooding, £1.1m pot hole fund, and £6m to upgrade street lights by switching to more energy efficient lights that will save money.

“We have been able to prevent higher increases in council tax by changing the way we do things and through savings in senior management, where we looked at all posts above £50,000. We now have a leaner structure in place.

“By keeping council tax low and taking advantage of the adult social care precept, we are able to help those most in need – families on low incomes and vulnerable adults by enabling them to live in their own homes and better assist those leaving hospital so they can return home sooner with the support they need, while paying those that care for them a much deserved pay rise.

“We aim to create a thriving place to live, work, invest and play. We are working hard to achieve this and will continue our work to create an even better place. We will continue to invest heavily in infrastructure and creating well-paid jobs to demonstrate confidence in North Lincolnshire.”

First Published:16 February 2017
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