Your £21m has been unavoidably delayed……..

If you travel by rail and the train is delayed you can get compensation, depending upon the length of the delay.  And so we should.

But what if other things are delayed?

What is generally not known is that our Council tax bills meet very little of the cost of our local services.  The majority of the cost is actually met by grants from central government. The government have to decide how to allocate these grants to different parts of the country to reflect their need and be fair.

The government agreed, in 2012, that the system for allocating these grants was flawed and that many local government services in rural areas were underfunded relative to other parts of the country.  It was agreed to move money from the over funded areas (often affluent councils in the SE) to rural areas like Lincolnshire.  Good news you might think.

This long overdue change should have brought £16 million into the county but because of ‘damping’ to prevent large changes in grants from one year to another, this money never arrived, and the way things are going will not arrive any time soon. A bit like the wrong sort of leaves on the line or the wrong sort of snow……(or more to the point the wrong type of politicians….)

Worse still, other changes which would have brought in another circa £5m have also been ‘unavoidably  delayed’ making a total of £21m.  Perhaps the overhead cables are down as well?

The effect is that we have to make bigger cuts to protect those over funded, and often more affluent, areas from making cuts to transfer the money to us.

Money we should have had in the first place!

Bizarre.  Many of those affluent areas protected by this so called ‘damping’ are conservative, but they obviously have Councillors and MP’s with more clout…….

They do not go out of their way to tell you the sums involved.  They would rather that you did not know how much ‘damping’ is costing you and your council.

The losses by Council are shown below:


Amount of Formula Funding for 2013/14 (£m)

Damping Amount Applied for 2013/14 (£m)

Percentage Damping Applied for 2013/14

County Council








East Lindsey




City of Lincoln




North Kesteven




South Holland




South Kesteven




West Lindsey








The total effect of this on you depends where you live, the size of your house etc but for some of us the combined effect on our county and our district council tax bills it could be about £100 per household.

Even worse the impact is either our council tax levels are higher or our cuts are deeper than they should otherwise be – whilst others, who it is now acknowledged had been over-funded for years, keep their (or should I say our) money.

The situation can be starkly demonstrated in that if Lincolnshire received the same level of grant per head of population as many parts of the south east then, rather than sending out council tax bills, Councils would probably be sending out refunds!

There has been little in the way of effective lobbying about this by  Conservative Councillors or MP’s.  When they complained they got a few crumbs off the top table – about a million.  They did not protest too much, make a big issue of it, threaten to resign or anything like that – of course not perhaps because they did not want to upset their party bosses in London. 

So our money remains ‘unavoidably delayed’; are we, like the railways, to get compensation – I think not.

Just remember when you vote in the May County Council elections, vote for those who will put Lincolnshire first rather than those who just say it.

We may not be able to do much about the wrong type of leaves or the wrong sort of snow.  We can do something about the wrong type of politician in power…… vote in a new breed, those who are independently minded and who just might put Lincolnshire above national party interests.

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Putting Lincolnshire first, challenging out party politicians
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