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More than £1.5m Government funding awarded as councils face pressures in increasing Internal Drainage Board levies

The South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership has led on a campaign to address the issue of significant and increasing Internal Drainage Board levies which are funded from the Council Tax the Councils raise.

It has been awarded more than £1.5m one-off funding from the Government due to the increased pressures each sovereign Council faces to support vital work by the Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs).

South Holland District Council, Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council are three of 15 local authorities in England to receive Government funding support in this way.

South Holland District Council will receive £298,739, Boston Borough Council £318,890 and East Lindsey District Council £927,373 one-off support.  

Each authority is faced with exceptional pressure from significant IDB levies this year due to unprecedented rising energy and fuel costs faced by IDBs in the work they do to protect homes, businesses and farmland from flooding. 

The Councils were identified as being amongst the most affected taking the majority of the national award, the IDB levies consume between 55-68% of the Council Tax the Councils raise, impacting on the money received through Council Tax for frontline services.

The Partnership had lobbied the Government due to the substantial loss of income to each Council as the levies were previously mainly funded through Revenue Support Grant.

Christine Marshall, Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate) said: "This funding of £1.5m across the Partnership is a positive move in the right direction and recognition of the significant challenges each council faces to deliver essential services.

"The majority of the money the councils receive through Council Tax is going to support the IDBs. These levies also put the councils at a disadvantage to the majority of local authorities in England as only a handful of councils are impacted upon in this way.

"Flooding protection for our homes and businesses will always be needed and we will continue to make representation to the Government for a permanent solution to resolve this defect in the funding arrangements for IDBs"

"With the potential for the levies to stay high in future years, it will continue to put a significant strain on the money each council should be spending on services.