MAKING Hyndburn a cleaner, greener borough will be a priority for the council over the next 12 months.
During a meeting of the Cabinet, it was announced that nearly £160,000 was to be provided for a series of initiatives to improve the environment.
The news came as the budget proposals for the coming year were annou-nced and the Cabinet approved a total budget of £11.5m, which will go before the full council in the next few weeks.
Councillors were also updated on the progress of the waste collection and recycling programme, which includes the "blue box" scheme and the use of wheelie bins for green waste and household refuse.
That programme is set to be introduced throughout the borough following a successful trial and a series of roadshows are being held in the next few weeks to explain the scheme in more detail.
Councillor Tim O'Kane, portfolio holder for cleansing and environmental issues, said that £159,000 would be used to fund the Cleaner, Greener Borough initiative.
Among the proposals was an improved refuse collection service, which would support the plans to introduce a wheelie bin collection service in the four Neighbourhood Renewal wards.
Councillor O'Kane added that the money would be used to fund more waste recycling, grass cutting and increased cleansing, using a "hit squad" that would drive around the borough picking up rubbish. A survey of the land drainage systems in the town would also be carried out.
But Councillor Peter Britcliffe, leader of the opposition, accused the Labour administration of "conning" residents. He said: "You have let Hyndburn get dirtier and dirtier for the last few months and at the first whiff of an election, you're suddenly bringing in a spring-clean. The service to the public will go down but they're going to pay twice as much for it. It is too much."
Other proposals in the budget included allocating a minimum of £9,000 to each area council, providing £10,000 towards the cost of the postal vote pilot in the May elections and putting £29,200 towards employing a dedicated overview and scrutiny officer.
Councillor Jean Battle, deputy leader of the council, said: "This budget was formulated with our key aims of a cleaner, greener borough very much in mind. We are also confirming our commitment to the area councils, where local people are making local decisions about issues that matter to them."