Council tax increase and a charge on garden waste

Chorley Town Hall

Chorley Town Hall

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Have your say

Chorley is increasing its council tax for the first time in seven years.

And residents will be charged £30 per bin for garden waste collections.

Town hall bosses have proposed a two per cent increase in council tax for 2017/18.

They say this would amount to £3.55 per year – or 7p a week – on an average Band D property.

However, they add that there will be no cuts in services.

Councillor Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, confessed: “This is one of the most awkward and difficult budgets we’ve had to set for a number of years as we see more and more money taken away from us by Central Government.”

The rise may come as no surprise to residents who have no seen an increase from the authority over seven years.

But the garden waste charge may come as a blow.

However, Chorley blames Lancashire County Council on scrapping its subsidy for recycling leaving it with £1m per year to find.

Councillor Wilson said: “Our Government grant will have completely disappeared by 2020 – that’s a huge loss of £3.8m since 2013/14 and not only that they are going to be introducing a tariff which means they will actually be taking money off us.

“The formula for New Homes Bonus is being changed so we are losing out on about another £1.6m and now Lancashire County Council is pulling our recycling subsidy, which is another £1m per year we have to find. All this is set against a backdrop of increasing demands of our services.”

He said: “Despite all this and because we have been looking ahead and trying to find new income streams, such as the purchase of Market Walk, we are in a much better position than other local authorities in that we have been able to make and continue to make significant investment in the borough and we have not had to cut any services.

“But we have to be clear that things are now going to have to change. We can balance the budget for the coming year but we are at a point now where we are going to have to consider asking residents to contribute a little more.

“We have done what we can to freeze council tax for as long as we can but by every household paying a few pence per week more to us we can continue to maintain services and continue to offset cuts from other organisations by keeping libraries open and saving some of the most valued bus routes in the borough.

“I know some people will at first be annoyed at having to pay more in council tax but I’d ask people to look at all the improvements we’ve made over the last years both to the town centre, the investment we’ve attracted to create new jobs, improvements to our parks and open spaces and the events we have put on to give people more to do here in Chorley and we think it’s worth that bit extra every year to ensure we can continue providing the best services possible for our residents. We’re publishing all our plans for how we will spend people’s money over the next financial year so it’s important people take the time to have their say and let us know what they think before we finalise the budget in March.”

You can take part in the budget consultation at chorley.gov.uk or by calling into the council’s offices on Union Street.

All comments will need to be submitted by Friday, February 10.