Councillors set new budget

Chorley Town Hall
Chorley Town Hall

Council tax in Chorley has been frozen for a second year after the council’s budget plans were approved.

Councillors met at Chorley Town Hall last night to discuss the Labour administration’s proposals to keep council tax at its current level.

They also suggested investing £1m in services across the borough, such as expanding the food bank, improving street furniture and supporting businesses.

Labour councillors told the meeting they had been able to balance the budget, which included the income from Market Walk shopping precinct, which it bought last year, and cash from the New Homes Bonus.

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader, said: “It is a balanced budget and we are not asking the tax-payer to pay any more money.”

But Conservative councillors criticised the purchase of Market Walk and raised concerns about the long-term cost to the council.

Coun Kevin Joyce welcomed the proposed council tax freeze and many of the planned investments.

But he said the council should not spend £100,000 on inward investment and £100,000 on improvements to the Steeley Lane area of the town centre.

He said a further £200,000 could be saved with a reorganisation of senior management.

Coun Joyce said the Conservatives would spend the £400,000 saved on the outlying villages (£100,000) and restructuring and repaying debt (£300,000).

The proposals were debated by the councillors, before votes were held on the Labour plan and the Conservative amendment.

The Labour councillors’ plans were approved and the budget was set.

For a full report of the meeting, see Tuesday’s Chorley Guardian.