A shock announcement that it intends to increase next year’s council tax by 3.95 per cent was today (Wednesday) made by Lincolnshire County Council.
The figure is the maximum permissible by the Government without triggering a referendum.
If approved at a full council meeting in February, it will spell an increase of between £20 and £100 per year for householders depending on the types of properties they live in.
The figure for Band D will be £43 per annum.
Despite the proposed increase - which is subject to extensive consultation - there will still be extensive cuts in services.
Full details will emerge later, but there will be reduced highway maintenance, reduced cutting of grass verges and reduced subsidies to some bus services which may prompt operators to axe certain rural routes. And much else.
Some of the county council’s 4,500 staff are likely lose their jobs , though the precise number will not be known until the New Year.
For the third year running, tHe authority will also raid it’s fast-dwindling reserves - so-called “rainy day” money - to help provide a financial cushion.
“We are buying time until we can reconfigure services,” said portfolio holder for finance Coun Marc Jones. “Rather that than slash and burn.”
Council leader Coun Martin Hill said the 2016-17 Government revenue support grant - which funds 20 per cent of LCC’s activities - was significantly lower than projected.
“They’ve been very unfair to rural authorities,” he commented.