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North East Lincolnshire Council to continue its journey of transformation and regeneration.

9:11 am, Friday, 23rd February 2024 - 2 months ago

General

THE delivery of a balanced budget, with improved frontline environmental services and continued investment in urban regeneration and support for young people, has been announced by North East Lincolnshire Council for the 12 months starting in April.

Councillors attending last night’s Full Council meeting, when the budget report for 2024/2025 was discussed, also heard leader Cllr Philip Jackson announce an extra £250,000 investment to improve the street scene in Grimsby Town Centre and the main resort of Cleethorpes.

In his budget speech at Grimsby Town Hall (pictured), Cllr Jackson revealed how an environmental ‘hit squad’ would focus on clearing streets in key resident and visitor areas of the two towns, with other improvements.

“This investment will make a visible difference to some of our key town centre and resort areas, and in announcing this we all recognise just how important it is to improve public places both for our residents and visitors,” said Cllr Jackson.

The budget report itself contained details of how the council will continue to take a ‘more commercial approach’ with investments, such as the redevelopment of Freshney Place, progressing. This, adds the report, will support the ambition of the borough at a time of ‘significant economic challenge’.

The transformation journey of the authority’s Children’s Services is also remaining a priority, with both that, and regeneration, being central to the growth and prosperity of the borough. It was also confirmed there would be no cuts to frontline services, and went on to detail how the council is going to build up its reserves. Like a savings account, this is money that the council must set aside in case of emergencies or unforeseen costs, and is a legal requirement.

The report adds how the transformational change in certain areas is being supported by what is called the ‘flexible use of capital receipts’.

As reported in December, North East Lincolnshire Council exchanged contracts with ABP on the purchase of 200-acres of land for a number of new warehouses and distribution centres. Under Government rules, council monies raised from such purchases, called capital receipts, can be used to fund transformational change.

Cllr Jackson, said: “For our borough to grow and for our people, especially our children, to reach their full potential, we will continue to focus on inward investment, skills, innovation, and job growth.  Coupled with the Greater Grimsby Town Deal and the awarding of many millions of pounds of grant-funding for our urban and coastal areas, we are making real progress.

“This is a journey that does not happen overnight but the work we are leading will make a difference and this budget enables us to continue to do so during the next 12 months. This is, I must stress, without making any cuts to our frontline services, and providing the extra environmental investment.”

At the meeting, the North East Lincolnshire councillors voted to approve the budget report, which also confirmed the setting of the council tax for the 12 months from April. This will see an increase for the coming year of 2.98% with a further 2% ringfenced to support investment in adult social care.

However, in doing so, councillors also committed to an increase in its Council Tax Hardship Fund from £50,000 to £100,000 for the 12 months from April – reflecting the current challenges for lower-income households.  The scheme has been developed by Local Authorities across the country to support residents who are suffering hardship and need assistance for a specified period to pay their Council Tax.

The increase in Council Tax, coupled with the various grants, the annual Government settlement, and one-off extras, which include the recently announced additional social care funding, has provided an uplift in council income of 7.5% for the 12 months, adds the report. And that has been further supported by its decision to implement the flexible use of capital receipts.

The aims and ambitions of North East Lincolnshire Council are laid out in its refreshed Council Plan, which is available to read online at Council Plan – Our vision and aims | NELC (nelincs.gov.uk)

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