Council taxes have been frozen by Hyndburn Borough Council. At Wednesday night’s full council meeting the authority’s 2010-11 budget was approved, including a 0 per cent increase in its share of council tax bills.
Coupled with the Lancashire County Council (LCC) freeze announced earlier this month, it means owners of an average Band D property will pay just over £1,548 for the year, which includes a £230 share for the borough council.
Council leader Peter Britcliffe had asked for all-party consultation to find budget savings to keep tax hikes as low as possible, but given LCC’s announcement – and the Conservative party’s stance nationally – it came as no great surprise that the savings were found.
Coun Britcliffe said it was a major announcement that people would not have to pay ‘a single penny more for their district council services’ and accused Labour of proposing ‘immoral’ tax hikes.
He also announced a raft of investments, including:
- £1m to refurbish Great Harwood town hall;
- £700,000 into an apprenticeship programme;
- £100,000 for PCSOs and the Community Safety Partnership.
He also promised that any underspend on the budget would go to ensuring that grit bins would be full next winter.
The Labour group proposed a 1.5 per cent council tax increase, equivalent to an extra 20p a month, to fund purchases including £50,000 for Highams Playing Fields, a £9,500 gritting machine and £5,500 for dog mess bins and signage.
Labour leader Councillor Graham Jones described the council’s budget as a ‘Fagin’s budget’, by first taking money away from people and then giving it back to them.
Independent group leader Councillor Nick Collingridge called for a tighter rein on council procurement projects and criticised levels of spending on the Floral Market Town Initiative and Community Safety Partnership.
At a glance
THE 2010/11 total council tax bills for Hyndburn tax payers (includes county, police and fire precepts):
D £1,548.74 (which includes £230.52 for the borough council)
Altham residents pay additional parish precept
County pays its share too
A FREEZE on its share of council tax has been announced by county hall bosses.
Lancashire County Council’s ruling Tory group announced plans in its budget to save £24M for the financial year 2010-11. The idea is to reduce the amount of money spent by the county council in running its operations.
The majority of the savings will be achieved through the county council using resources more efficiently, while the rest will be made by recovering more costs, or with small reductions.
County council leader Geoff Driver said: "This is the freeze in the council tax which we promised.
"This budget leaves the county council as well prepared as it could possibly be to face the inevitable financial difficulties that lie ahead."