Council has funding cut

CASH-strapped Boston Borough Council has been told to expect the maximum cut to its ‘spending power’ from next year.

Boston is one of just 38 local authorities in line for an 8.9 per cent fall in its so-called ‘spending power’ from April 2011 - the upper limit set by the Coalition Government in its grant cuts, announced on Monday.

The figure - which combines the Government’s main or ‘formula’ grant, other grants, NHS support and council tax receipts - equates to £1.1 million.

Another £760,000 is expected to be cut the following year.

The formula grant itself is to fall by £900,000 to £5.8 million (or by about 13 per cent) next year.

A council spokesman stated: “The size of reduction is in line with what was anticipated and the council awaits further details to fully understand the implications of the announcement from Government.”

Previous estimates had been in the region of an 11 per cent fall.

Every penny counts for the borough as while it is forecasting a surplus of £47,000 for the end of this financial year, it is staring down a £154,000 deficit for 2011/12.

The spokesman added: “The council has developed plans that will allow the council to respond to the loss of funding. More details will be available on the website shortly.”

East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) has labelled the cuts as ‘deep and hard hitting’ after calculating a 20 per cent fall in its Government grant.

“Times are going to be tough and we’re going to need to take some tough decisions,” said Coun Colin Davie. “However, ELDC remains committed to protecting the front-line services local people rely on.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s grant for next year has fallen by £26.7 million (or 11.2 per cent).

l Where should the cuts be made? Email david.seymour@jpress.co.uk