The Leaders of East Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council and the Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council have provided responses to yesterdays Comprehensive Spending Review.
Responding to the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review announcement, Councillor Doreen Stephenson, Leader of East Lindsey District Council, said:
“The announcement about future Government spending is very much as we expected with funding to Local Government being substantially reduced to help address the national debt. We won’t know the full implications of this decision for the people of East Lindsey until the Coalition Government releases more information over the next few months.
“What we do know is that we are right to have been planning for today’s announcement well in advance by driving efficiency savings to give local people good value for their money.
“Over the past three years we have saved £5m from the cost of running services by making them more efficient. We have also formed Compass Point Business Services with South Holland District Council to share IT, Finance, Human Resources, Customer Services and Revenues and Benefits to make savings of £19.3m over the next 10 years.
“In making savings we are continuously and rigorously reviewing every service we provide to look at what can be done better and more efficiently.
“Many tough decisions lie ahead for the Council around service provision and we remain committed to doing everything we can to protect the front line services that our communities relies on.”
Councillor Martin Hill OBE, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said:
“Today’s initial announcements are not a surprise and we are in the best possible position to deal with them, having been actively preparing for this situation for 18 months. They are, however, very serious ones which mean difficult decisions will need to be made in the coming weeks and months.
“It will take some time to assess the full impact of the Government’s spending review, but we already know for sure that there must be further cuts to services and, unfortunately, job losses. These will include compulsory redundancies across the board, as we quickly restructure our operations.
“We have already made efficiency savings of over £30m and reduced our workforce, whilst our Value for Money programme has planned in over £100m of further savings.
“We will now continue to work hard in identifying the ‘core priorities’ for the county – distinguishing the services of greater priority whilst ceasing, reducing in scale or finding other ways of delivering lower priority services.
“There’s no denying the reality that things are going to get much tougher; we can’t do anything and everything any more. However, this authority is well-placed to do the best it can for Lincolnshire residents and we’ll keep everyone informed.
“All councils have to play their part in balancing the nation’s books – and we will fulfil our role with the needs and views of Lincolnshire residents foremost in our minds.”
Tony McArdle, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council, said:
“We now need to make tough choices about how we spend a reduced budget, but we remain committed to protecting services wherever we can.
“Ultimately though, the unavoidable question for us is not whether to cut services, but which to cut and by how much.
“This year (2010/11), we will spend nearly £800 million on day-to-day services for residents, excluding direct schools expenditure, but that figure will be substantially less from next April as our grants from the Government – currently 68% of our income – are reduced by around a quarter. Like businesses and households across the country, local authorities will need to change to live within our reduced means.
“In a few weeks, the Government will give individual councils an indication of what they can expect to get next year in Government grants. Only at that point can our 2011/12 budgets for each service area begin to be set in detail.
“With challenges come changes. We are going to emerge a different council, but one which will reflect on and provide the essential support our residents most need and want.”
This will inevitably have some bearing on the lives of the residents of Spilsby and the surrounding area. We will do our best to keep local residents informed of any changes at either County, District or Town Council levels that will directly affect residents.