WORK to reinvent Grimsby Town Centre will carry on next year as North East Lincolnshire Council invests for the future, whilst continuing to tackle challenges centred upon key services and the national economic picture.
The authority today launches its official budget public consultation for the financial year starting April 2023 and is doing so in the face of continuing pressures in a number of areas.
Portfolio Holder for Finance, Resources and Assets, Cllr Stephen Harness, acknowledged that the authority – like so many others across the country – was facing challenging times ahead.
It has been well reported how the national financial position is impacting upon those within the public and private sectors – as well as individual households. Rising inflation, increased interest rates driven by fuel and food prices hikes, along with the financial headache born from the COVID-19 pandemic, has driven the situation.
At North East Lincolnshire Council the process of budget setting has started for the coming financial year, ahead of the authority’s annual grant settlement from the Government being confirmed. This settlement, along with money raised via council tax and business rates, represents the authority’s income.
A large amount of this income is used to fund the council’s statutory services, which include, for example, Adult Social Care and Children’s Services – there are continued pressures in such areas.
Despite these annual challenges, Cllr Harness said the authority was determined to deliver on its pledge of regeneration, with Grimsby Town Centre its overarching priority.
The projects being referred to by Cllr Harness have attracted millions of pounds in Government grant funding. They include the Freshney Place Market Hall & Leisure Scheme, which is currently in the planning process, and major improvements to Riverhead Square. The grant monies won are ring-fenced specifically for these projects.
“We are well aware of how the national economic issues and increasing and continued high costs in a number of council areas will bring pressure upon us as an authority. But we are determined to ensure vital projects that will bring about growth, particularly within Grimsby Town Centre, will go ahead,” said Cllr Harness.
“To drive change and create opportunity for our residents we must continue to be pro-active in this respect,” he added.
The public budget consultation starting today is part of the authority’s annual financial process. This also includes the setting of Council Tax levels, which is always finalised within the first two months of the year. Government has again said that all Local Authorities will have the ability to raise a precept on the base Council Tax rate to fund Adult Social Care. Police, the Fire & Rescue Service and town/parish council precepts are also included within final Council Tax bills.
To take part in the 2023/2024 budget consultation please go to https://tell-us.questionpro.eu/Budget2023