A councillor has slammed cost-saving measures he claims will leave the borough ‘dirty’ and at risk of vermin.
At a meeting of the full Hyndburn council, former Tory leader Peter Britcliffe criticised budget cuts to council sweepers and pest control as part of a “dull and complacent budget”.
The full council approved cuts to two vacant posts in environmental health and one in pest control, as part of £870,000 of savings.
The pest control officer has taken voluntary redundancy, leaving three officers and one apprentice in the pest control department.
Other savings included cutting a mechanical sweeper driver post, reducing weekend overtime for hand sweepers and reducing the frequency of replacement of sweeper brushes, at a savings cost of £33,020. Leases for a mechanical sweeper and two 4x4 vehicles have also been terminated, delivering savings of £23k.
At the same meeting Hyndburn council leader Coun Miles Parkinson hailed the borough’s “good financial management” after freezing the borough’s share of council tax for the seventh year in succession.
Addressing the Labour benches, Coun Britcliffe said: “I am appalled to hear that side over there bragging about the big council tax freeze.
“Our towns will be dirtier. We’re losing a third sweeper, a pest control officer has been deleted.The last thing we want to see is the number of pest controllers diminished.”
In response Coun Paul Cox, executive member for environmental services, told the meeting: “We are working more efficiently to clean this borough whilst we are delivering this zero per cent freeze.
“As an authority we have to come up with smarter more intelligent ways of working.”
Following the meeting, Coun Cox told the Observer the council was taking a strong line on fly-tipping and litter.