Now the dust has settled after election fever and we can move forward with a Conservative Government in place for the next five years.
It seems pretty clear that the government will continue to work on eliminating the budget deficit which will continue to affect funding for local government including Lincolnshire County Council. It will mean continuing to find substantial savings for the next few years. While we will continue to do our best to find ways of doing things more efficiently, we would like to see central government shouldering a larger share of the savings required, to better match the efforts of local government.
What we will be doing is lobbying government for a fairer funding formula as we receive much less that the average or for urban areas. Just as we know Scotland will be pressing for more devolved powers and responsibilities, we will be doing the same for Lincolnshire – it will help us in our efforts to find savings by being able to work more efficiently with local partners and remove any unnecessary barriers and structures that get in the way.
The Government has promised to give tax free childcare to help parents who want to work and give families where all parents are working an entitlement to 30 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds. This will be welcome news for many parents and will also sit well next to the many initiatives we are pursuing for families and young children. Our children’s centres for instance go from strength to strength in giving a whole range of support for young children and their parents.
We’ll also have to see what the Government plans for health and social care. The promise of more significant funding for health and social care and initiatives such as the Better Care Fund are welcome. We will continue with our own efforts to give our residents greater choice of where and when they can get effective services, integrate the health and social care systems and reduce inefficiencies and duplic-ation.
I look forward to working with our newly elected MPs in championing Lincolnshire and securing the funding and resources for services our residents deserve.