Hyndburn council will face ‘major challenges’ in order to balance its budget beyond this year, according to a report.
Officers have identified areas to make more than £870,000 in savings over the next financial year - after the council ruled out following Lancashire County Council and the Police Commissioner in increasing its council tax precept.
The Hyndburn council rate freeze, coupled with the other rises, mean residents will pay at least £33 more council tax per year.
The council will have a budget of £11,283,000 for the financial year 2016-2017.
Cost savings identified include cutting vacant posts in environmental health and pest control, moving from printing to online messaging, reductions in advertising costs, and switching to online calendars.
Speaking at a meeting of Hyndburn council’s cabinet, portfolio holder for resources Coun Gareth Molineux said there will be some tough decisions on how the organisation is shaped.
He said: “This budget continues to reduce back office costs and remains open to further suggestions.”
In his report to the cabinet, Coun Molineux said the council’s ‘sound financial management’ had ensured local taxpayers had not had to face an increase in their council tax.
He added: “If the council had increased council tax simply by inflation over the last seven years rather than not increasing it at all, council tax for Hyndburn’s services would have been over £50 higher for each average Band D property within Hyndburn.”
Opposition leader Coun Tony Dobson said the decision not to increase council tax for the seventh year had to be welcomed.
He said: “Lancashire County Council’s portion of the council tax is going up by four per cent and police up by two per cent.
“If we all maxed out, it could be a 10 per cent increase, but if we can look at our organisations as slim and efficient, that’s when the impacts may have to change.
“If everybody goes for 10 per cent a year, that’s a big increase for the people in Hyndburn.”
Hyndburn council leader Coun Miles Parkinson said the council was one of the worst affected by the cuts from the government in the country.
He added: “This budget is a major achievement.”
Last month Hyndburn council agreed to cut the maximum level of council tax support from 80 per cent to 73 per cent.
Added to council tax precept rises for Lancashire County Council and the police commissioner it adds up to £83 a year to bills for residents of working age in receipt of the support.
Council unveils £5 million capital programme
Hyndburn council is set to commit more than £5m for improvements in the borough.
More than £2m from the council’s capital budget will be committed to housing and town centre renewal projects, as well as over a million pounds
for improvements to parks and leisure activities.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been earmarked for projects across the borough including improvements to Accrington town centre, the creation of a new cemetery in Rishton and development of the Aspen Colliery Coke Oven heritage site.
In a meeting of Hyndburn Council’s cabinet, portfolio holder for resources Coun Gareth Molineux said: “The capital programme remains strong, overall we will invest £5.5m over the next 12 months.”
Coun Molineux identified housing regeneration projects in Woodnook and Rishton as areas that would benefit from this funding.
Tory leader Coun Tony Dobson welcomed the news.
He said: “If we can maximise the value for money, that’s about the best we can do.”