budget

Budget survey – time to give your views

Have your say on North East Lincolnshire Council’s budget proposals for the next financial year.

People, businesses and other organisations can give their views from today, Tuesday 4 December, until Tuesday 15 January.

During that time you will be able to give your views at www.nelincs.gov.uk/Letstalk.

Paper copies of the survey will be available in the four Lincs Inspire libraries and at the Municipal Offices in Grimsby.

Cllr Dave Watson, Cabinet member for Finance, said the Council wants to hear people’s views about which of its activities are important to them.

He added: “Local government finance is probably a big turn-off for most people, but the decisions we make when setting the budget can affect you and your community, so it’s important that you give us your views.

“The council tax you pay is only one of our main funding sources. The other two are grants from central government and business rates.  Although your council tax has gone up, we’ve lost a lot of funding from central government.

“Since 2010, we’ve have had our overall budget cut by more than 35% (or £31.8m in real terms) through reductions in funding from Central Government. These cuts, alongside increasing demands on Council services, means we have had to find different ways to deliver our services and find new ways of funding what we do. Our challenge is to try and balance the delivery of services that affect everyone – along with delivering services that only affect a few.

“That’s a massive amount of money wiped from our budget – just imagine if you only had two thirds of your take home pay to spend each month. Could you manage as a household?

“We’ve managed our finances soundly and by streamlining the way we work we’ve protected many of the services for the most vulnerable, but that comes at the expense of other activities people enjoy.”

Cllr Watson said: “Out of our total budget of £124.2m, more than a third is spent on adult social care. That’s help for older people, disabled people and the vulnerable.  Around another £22m is spent supporting babies, children and young people.

“The rest is spent on things like cleaning and lighting streets; emptying bins; mending roads; looking after parks, open spaces, cemeteries and crematorium; dealing with planning applications; attracting investment; providing sport, leisure and cultural activities; supporting businesses and running our organisation.”

Cllr Watson added: “We’re becoming a more commercial organisation and will be reviewing all our activity during the next few years to make the savings needed to balance our budget.

“We can’t face this challenge alone. We want to work with you, with businesses and with other organisations to deliver our services differently.”

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