Lincolnshire targets flood works in budget plans

Lincolnshire County Council is set to invest additional money in highways maintenance and flooding, with £14 million of efficiency savings allowing it to still deliver a balanced budget.

The eastern councils executive members have approved budget proposals for 2020/21. Now set for consultation, funding has been earmarked for a number of future projects, including the creation of new school places. However, of more weight, more than £2 million will go towards extra drainage repairs and new flood-response equipment for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

Additionally, £350,000 will be set aside for a 'green masterplan', with the council aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050 – ‘or sooner if that's practicable’. Lincolnshire County Council is also proposing to spend around £4 million on 16 extra highways teams next year.

To help fund this, the council is proposing a 1.5 per cent increase in general council tax, with a further two per cent increase specifically for adult social care, giving an overall rise of 3.5 per cent.

Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: "We know that road repairs and flooding are a priority for many residents. Although it's an improving picture for council finances, there are still challenges ahead, particularly with regard to the ever-growing demand for adult care.

"The government has provided an additional £14 million towards adults and children's social care this year, but we urgently need to see a long-term plan for dealing with an ageing population. It's vital this uncertainty over future funding is addressed so we can be sure that residents will continue to receive the best possible care. We'll also continue to push for fairer funding for Lincolnshire. It's long been recognised that rural areas like ours receive less than their fair share of government money. It's time for that to be put right."