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Tax freeze as council plans next budget

Freeze: Councillors will meet tonight at Chorley Town Hall to discuss the budget and council tax proposals

Freeze: Councillors will meet tonight at Chorley Town Hall to discuss the budget and council tax proposals

 

Council tax looks set to be frozen for residents in Chorley – despite cuts in Government funding.

The town’s Labour administration is proposing to keep council tax at its current level as it plans its budget for 2014-15.

However, the portion paid to Lancashire County Council is expected to increase.

Chorley Council has had its Government grant reduced by 13.5 per cent (£879,000), with a further 15.6 per cent (£874,000) cut in 2015-16.

But council leaders say they are able to balance the books, thanks to efficiency savings and the £400,000 annual income from Market Walk shopping precinct.

And they will make £1m of investment around the borough, thanks to cash from the New Homes Bonus.

This will be spent in a range of areas, including expanding the food bank, improvements to the town centre, a campaign to create more jobs, and continuing free swimming for children in school holidays.

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “Once again you can see we have been hit very hard by the Government, and this year has been particularly bad because the amount our grant has reduced by is double the reduction of last year.

“Despite these pressures, our good financial management and drive to be as efficient as possible means we are in a position where we have been able to make enough savings and can look at investing in services that matter to residents and reducing the council’s debt.”

The proposals will be discussed at tonight’s executive cabinet meeting before a six-week consultation is launched.

 

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