Council continues to invest in services and economic regeneration plans

Council continues to invest in services and economic regeneration plans

Date published: 06 March 2018

West Lindsey District Council has exciting plans to grow the whole area, while continuing to invest in vital services.

Significant capital projects planned include the building of a new crematorium and new leisure facilities to improve health and wellbeing across the district.

Meanwhile, to help people get on the property ladder, the council is rolling out its innovative housing strategy to create good affordable accommodation, while attracting new homes development.

Its new Home Choices based letting system will make it easier for people to bid for properties and make sure those in need of accommodation are supported.  

Plans also include 140 new homes, in a joint venture with social housing provider Acis and securing £2m of infrastructure funding from Homes England to start work on Gainsborough’s Southern Neighbourhood.

Regeneration plans for Gainsborough are now gathering pace, with the opening of newly refurbished shops in Market Street in May and Travelodge and Pontis in September, in the new ‘Roseway Quarter’. The council is working hard to secure other leisure, restaurant and retail uses for the town supported by its successful £4m grant funding regime.

The regeneration of historic market towns, including Market Rasen, which will benefit from the current leisure plans, and Caistor, are also being supported by the council.

New engineering apprenticeships and jobs are being created thanks to the bespoke ‘Made In Gainsborough scheme; and in agri-food, at the newly created 30 hectare Food Enterprise Zone at Hemswell Cliff - works on site will commence later this year with the support of the Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership.

In services areas, more frontline staff have been brought in by the authority to improve planning, housing and essential public protection services. Meanwhile West Lindsey’s high-performing waste collection service has once again been nominated for a ‘country best’ award.

At last night’s Full Council meeting (Monday March 5), a Council Tax increase of three per cent for 2018/2019 was approved, meaning a household in an average Band D property will see an annual increase in their West Lindsey bill from £201.24 to £207.27 per year.

This, along with a range of activities delivering commercial and efficiency benefits secures a balanced budget for the next two years - but the council still faces a funding gap of over £600,000 in 2021 due to the funding reductions enforced by central government. The council is confident that the pro-active action being taken now will close that £600,000 gap.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Jeff Summers said: “We believe this budget strikes the right balance between keeping increases in Council Tax to a minimum whilst continuing the great work going on to regenerate our district, attract new jobs, new homes and enable the continued investment in the area.

“Our approach which has been successful so far has been to attract investors into the district and work with them to enable development that will benefit the lives of those who live and work here in West Lindsey.

“In reaching the decision we considered ways to balance our budget, the impact on council tax payers, the economic stability and our settlement figures. Despite the increase we still believe this budget represents good value for money.

“This budget continues our theme of growth and investment, following a time when others were making cuts to staff and services. We recognised four years ago, the only way was to adapt, adopt and grow beyond a tightening fiscal situation. We had to take the long view and a leading role. We will continue to drive forward efficiency plans and streamline services to deliver what our customers value. This will be supported by our strengthening commercial objectives.”

Ian Knowles, Executive Director of Resources at the Council, said: “West Lindsey District Council has a strong track record of identifying and delivering savings and efficiencies whilst protecting priority services.

“The Council has limited resources so it is vital they are deployed in the most efficient and effective way to secure excellent services for the residents of West Lindsey. 

“We have continued to invest in communities to help them help themselves and others, adopted a commercial approach to generate income and explored funding from other bodies to unlock development in the District, to enable us to continue to provide services. We will continue to maximise technology to deliver modern, innovative and collaborative services.”

There has been a number of achievements across the district this year including:

  • The construction of a new Travelodge Hotel and restaurant
  • 41 defibrillators installed in our communities.
  • Awarded so far £68k to community projects and organisations, which has been boosted by funding from their own groups and external match funding – totalling £253k. For every £1 we invested we matched/levered £3.69
  • Investment in Trinity Arts Centre
  • The Central Local Plan has been adopted.
  • Pilot of the NNDR 100% retention
  • New joint venture for developing Market Street, Gainsborough – which includes revamp of shops and above the shop accommodation
  • Mayflower 400 national project – illuminate parade in Gainsborough
  • Waste Collection Services nominated for an award by APSE for the 7th year

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