At Lincolnshire County Council, we’re already hard at work trying to balance the books for the new financial year starting in April.
As you may have seen in County News, the money we get from the Government is continuing to fall, while inflation, an ageing population and the national living wage are pushing up our costs.
In total, our estimated budget shortfall for 2017/18 stands at £60m, and difficult decisions will be needed in the weeks and months ahead.
Despite the financial pressures, we’re continuing to invest in long-term road projects to keeping the county moving.
These schemes will not only cut congestion, but will also unlock developments that could potential add hundreds of millions of pounds to the Lincolnshire economy.
Of course, in the 21st century digital connections are equally important to a thriving economy.
For that reason a partnership led by Lincolnshire councils and BT will be continuing the roll-out of superfast broadband next year.
More than 90 per cent of the county can now sign up with an internet service provider and enjoy faster speeds, and the next phase will take coverage to almost 97 per cent.
Our heritage attractions, including Lincoln Castle, are also planning another exciting year, drawing visitors from far and wide to our great county.
I hope you enjoy a restful Christmas and New Year – now for the opportunities and challenges 2017 will throw at us!