Martin Hill: Tell us the services you value the most

Martin Hill EMN-141023-093525001
Martin Hill EMN-141023-093525001

I’m sure you’re aware that the council is facing further funding cuts.

We’re having to make some tough choices about our priorities, and we’re very keen to hear from residents about what services are most important to them.

We are determined to face up to these difficulties, and not take a piecemeal approach to making savings. And I’d like to reassure you once we’ve listened to your views and set our objectives for the years ahead, they will be properly prioritised and funded. That means that we can continue to do a professional job, providing vital services for the people of Lincolnshire.

We have faced unprecedented financial challenges over the last few years. But through good management and changing the way we deliver some services, we’ve found savings of around £150m per year since 2011.

Now we need to save an additional £90m annually by 2019. That means our budget (excluding schools) will have been halved over 10 years.

We’ve already made further savings this year. By the start of September our senior management team has reduced by 25 posts.

We are bringing in private sector firm Serco to deliver our support and customer services, cutting costs by an extra £14m over the next few years.

But we still have further savings to make and need to think about our priorities. Our view is that these should include services that maintain public safety, such as safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, gritting roads and highways maintenance.

Of course with such a large rural population, we appreciate the importance of keeping roads clear, and everyone moving safely. And with around 5,500 miles of roads to maintain that continues to be a challenge.

However, savings will need to be made from some areas. But before we take a decision, we want you to tell us which services you value the most, and which you would be happy to see provided in a different way, or not at all.

You can find out more about how the council spends its budget online at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/finance.

We’d like to hear from you, on what you think our priorities should be, by the end of November. Please e-mail finance@lincolnshire.gov.uk or write to:

Lincolnshire County Council, Resource and Community Safety Directorate,

Treasury and Financial Strategy

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Newland

Lincoln

LN1 1YL

You’ll have another chance to have your say in January 2015 when the council begins its formal budget consultation on detailed proposals. Look out for more on that nearer the time.