Hyndburn’s Labour group has defended council tax hikes.
Hyndburn residents living in an ‘average’ Band D property will pay £26 a year more on top of their bill from April.
The rise covers a 1.99 per cent precept increase for Lancashire County Council (LCC), Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority.
Hyndburn council, which is the collecting authority, has agreed to freeze its portion of council tax at a local level for the sixth consecutive year.
Council leader Miles Parkinson, who is a county councillor, vice-chair of the fire authority and sits on the police panel, said the rises were needed to protect frontline services.
He told a full council meeting: “Many people want a police force to be seen and complain if they can’t get hold of the police.
“The dramatic effects on the police budget means that, even with a 1.99 per cent rise, it still means 400 less police officers on the streets of Lancashire in the coming year. The fire authority are having to make £10 million savings and we have seen this in Hyndburn.
“It was only a number of years ago we had six fire engines, now we have got three. Do you want them cut more and to come from Blackburn?
“The funding increase at the fire service is 81p a year for an A band property, just over a penny a week to secure your fire engine in Hyndburn.”
Coun Parkinson said the LCC needed to save £300 million, with 2,500 jobs going in a ‘dramatic restructure’.
He warned the social care budget was a ‘timebomb’ and funding was needed to safeguard adults and children.
Conservative leader Coun Peter Britcliffe said the precept rises will take £500,000 out of the Hyndburn economy.
He said: “This money could be spent on jobs and the local shops. It is absolutely disgraceful. You are shameful.”