South Holland District Council offices.

District council announces tax rise as it attempts to save £4.4m in four years

South Holland District Council is to put up its share of council tax by 2.83 per cent as it attemps to make over £4.4m worth of savings in the next four years.

The authority today (Friday) published its Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy.

It says the council tax rise will cost the average band D householder £4.95 per year in the next financial year (from April 2020) from £174.78 to £179.73 and also assumes an annual ongoing increase of two per cent a year to 2024.

The council says it set an ‘Initial Savings Efficiency Target’ of £872,000 for 2020/21 rising to £1.268m for 2021/22, £ 1,204m for 2022/23 then for £1.1m in 2023/24. It amounts to £4,432,000.

It says it’s already identified the majority of savings it wants to make and has set a ‘Final Savings Efficiency Target’ of £344,000 more that needs to be found in 2020/21, £565,000 more in 21/22, £509,000 more in 2022/23 and £551,000 more in 2023/24.

The report states: “As part of the budget review, a number of potential schemes have been explored at officer level to generate savings and increase income.

“Areas being considered which currently have a high level of spend or which require a greater review to reduce costs and provide services differently include: consideration of fees and income policies (including an internal review and benchmarking exercise), review of publicly owned assets including a strategic asset plan review and consideration of alternative management models, further shared service opportunities, growth and commercialisation opportunities including generating income streams from increasing asset ownership, Welland Homes (the council’s publically listed housing company), and a Service Efficiency Programme.”

It continues: “Further work is being undertaken as the budget is finalised and as the year progresses to achieve this efficiency target and extensive work is currently underway to support this process.

“Any timing issues relating to when savings materialise can be managed through use of reserves to facilitate timing issues.”

Last week, Lincolnshire County Council announced its share of the council tax will increase.

Others who have a share in the council tax are the Police and Crime Commissoner and local town and parish councils.

We’ll have more on the budget in next week’s issue of The Voice.

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