A budget that protects services and freezes Council Tax could be on the cards for people living in East Lindsey.
East Lindsey District Council has published its budget papers for the 2011/12 financial year.
The papers, which aren’t yet approved, will be presented by the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor Colin Davie at the Executive Board meeting on February 15, 2011. The budget will then be considered by Council on March 2, 2011.
Councillor Colin Davie, said: “Councillors were clear that they wanted to see a budget that protects front line services and that’s what I’m proposing to them. We’re receiving significantly less Government funding in 2011/12 (£2.2m reduction) but we were prepared and we’ve taken important steps to ensure we can protect services to local people. As well as protecting services, my budget proposes a freeze in Council Tax for the next year. This will be a welcome relief to our communities.”
“Despite the huge reduction in Government funding this proposal also helps to protect jobs. Around 15 people have asked to take voluntary redundancy from the Council and compulsory redundancies will be kept to less than a handful.”
“If agreed, this budget will also see the Council invest in flood protection schemes, economic development and we’ll be making improvements to our homelessness service, which supports some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
“Although I’m pleased to be able to protect front line services, there’s no getting away from the fact that finances in local government are tight. We’re continually looking for ways to drive efficiency savings and deliver better value for money to local people whilst investing in priority areas.”
Five examples of how savings have already been made without an impact on service provision to local people:
Area Based Working – The council has moved to Area Based Working with the Street Scene Teams delivering a £70,000 annual saving – previously a cleansing operative would empty the bins in the park and a gardener would do the gardening – now teams are multi-skilling and one person can do both jobs making our teams more productive.
Compass Point Business Services – With South Holland District Council the Council has formed Compass Point Business Services (East Coast) Ltd, a local authority owned company, to provide Customer Services, Finance, HR, ICT and Revenues and Benefits back to the two Councils but at a significantly reduced cost. This company is now up and running. Between East Lindsey and South Holland Councils we will save over £30m over the next ten years – £19.3m of that for East Lindsey. This innovative arrangement, one of the first and most progressed in the country, will help to protect the front line services we know local people rely on. The 2011/12 saving will be £1.4m to East Lindsey District Council.
Restructure of refuse rounds – £100k saving will be made following the recent refuse round restructure. The restructure has made the service more efficient but hasn’t resulted in any reduction in service.
Section 151 Officer – From December the council will be sharing a Section 151 Officer with Boston Borough Council. This is a position the Council legally has to have. This is another important agreement that will deliver savings of around £50k per year.
Deletion of vacant senior management posts – A further saving of £237k will come from the deletion of vacant senior management posts and a top level restructure.
What do you think about the proposed budget? Let us know!