Council tax frozen for third time in four years
Council tax in South Ribble is to be frozen for the third time in four years despite the difficult financial climate.
Members of South Ribble Borough Council agreed to the freeze, which means residents won't have to pay a penny more for the borough council's share of the overall bill in 2013/14. It will remain at £208.38 per year for a Band D property, which will pay for services from waste collection and recycling to environmental health and maintenance of South Ribble's award-winning parks.
Councillors said the decision not to increase council tax meant South Ribble would receive the one-year Council Tax Freeze Grant worth £78,000 in 2013/14 and another £78,000 in 2014/15.
Financial pressures created by the unprecedented economic climate have increased demand for the council's services and its income has been reduced. The council is expecting to over-achieve against its savings target of £644,000 for 2012/13 whileprotecting frontline services and avoiding the need for redundancies, and has identified further savings of £515,000 in 2013/14.
South Ribble Borough Council has been among the hardest hit in Lancashire by reductions in its core funding from the Government, with an overall decrease of more than 29% in the last two years, and a further reduction of 27% over the next two years.
Members also agreed to reduce the amount that working age claimants will have to pay in council tax in 2013-14, following the introduction of the Government's new Council Tax Support scheme. It had been proposed that working age claimants in South Ribble would contribute £3.50 a week in Council Tax, but the figure has now been reduced to £2.95 a week, down 16 %. The decrease was made possible by passing on the two per cent reduction in Lancashire County Council's share of the council tax bill.
Councillor Stephen Robinson, South Ribble Borough Council's cabinet member with responsibility for finance and resources, said:
"A terrific team effort from staff and councillors meant we again over-achieved against our savings targets in the last financial year. We are in a better financial position than we expected, which will help us protect key services and keep council tax down next year.
"Through prudent financial management, we have been able to freeze council tax for the third time in four years while still investing in our communities. For example, we are continuing to fund community safety work through our Police Community Support Officers and CCTV, and we will be investing £100,000 a year for the next four years on improving our parks and open spaces."Longton, Leyland and Penwortham will all benefit from regeneration schemes in 2013-14, and we have frozen car parking charges to help support local businesses."
Last updated: 19 March 2013