Hyndburn council chiefs are looking to make savings of around £800,000 through voluntary redundancies as the authority faces further budget cuts.
Town hall chiefs say they need to slash £1.2 million off their £11.1 million budget by next year, and expect two-thirds of this to come from cutting back office posts. However, they have confirmed they will not increase their share of council tax, while pledging to protect frontline services. The council’s budget plans for the next 12 months include:
- A £3 million investment into housing regeneration in Woodnook
- A £100,000 revamp of Accrington Town Hall’s ballroom
- A major regeneration scheme along Blackburn Road in Accrington
- £470,000 to assist disabled people so they can continue to live in their homes
- £110,000 upgrades to playgrounds at Bullough Park and Peel Park.
Council leader Miles Parkinson said frontline services would be protected and no compulsory redundancies made. He could not confirm the number of posts that would be axed.
A budget underspend of nearly £400,000 from the past year will help make up the remainder of the £1.2 million savings.
Coun Parkinson said: “We are investing in parks, leisure, open spaces and our town centres, while at the same time delivering one of the most important things to residents – a zero per cent council tax increase.
“There is limited finance and that’s going to carry on until 2017/18 and there’s talk of it even being to 2021.
“It doesn’t bear thinking about what the council will be left to do by then – apart from picking up the rubbish. That’s all we could afford.”
Despite Hyndburn’s freeze, council tax bills across the borough are still set to rise by up to £2 per month due to precept rises announced by Lancashire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner. The borough council has also earmarked £259,000 to replace key vehicles and keep buildings fit for use and £102,000 for cemeteries.
Tory leader Coun Peter Britcliffe said: “Overall they are following our policies of the last 10 years. I’m delighted they have chosen to do so and to keep council tax frozen.”
Residents are being invited to have their say on the budget at an Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting at Scaitcliffe House on Tuesday, February 18 from 10am.