Pendle Council starts work on £5.5m. savings

editorial image

pendle Council’s Executive will begin the task of making £5.5 million in savings over the next four years on Tuesday night.

Members will be asked to approve savings of £1,436,000 for 2013/14 put forward by the council’s management team and increase its share of the council tax by 2% – the equivalent of 9p a week on a band D property.

This would be followed by projected savings of £1,592,000 in 2014/15, £1,567,000 in 2015/16 and £934,000 in 2016/17, with council tax increases of 2% in each year.

This year, the management team is proposing:

l A reduction in members’ allowances, saving £34,900.

l A reduction of £70,000 in the revenue budget of area committees.

l The cessation of funding advice workers for Ithaad and the Peoples Enterprise and Empowerment Forum, saving £24,870.

l A review of grants to voluntary and other organisations, saving £15,350.

l Increasing fees for planning applications by 15% – the first increase in five years.

l Relaunching the Discover Pendle Centre in a simplified version within the main Boundary Mill store rather than its current site at the front, saving £50,000. A similar proposal was resisted by the Executive at this stage last year.

l A reduction of £20,000 in the budget for repairs to bus shelters.

l Savings of £30,000 in management and maintenance of CCTV across Pendle.

l A 17% increase in fees for the hire of social and community centres.

l A review of public toilets across Pendle, saving £5,000.

l Charging for the collection of bulky household waste, bringing in £70,000.

l Charging for replacement waste containers would draw an additional £30,000.

l Reducing the level of highway verge cutting, saving £37,000.

l Savings of £23,000 on the parks and recreation service.

l A partial or complete closure of all district offices and the cash counter at Number One Market Street, Nelson, saving a further £243,000.

l A reduction of up to £200,000 in the grant to Pendle Leisure Trust.

The Executive’s decision will go forward to the council’s annual budget meeting on Thursday, February 21st.

As part of the budget proposals, members are asked to agree to council leader Joe Cooney and chief executive Stephen Barnes seeking a meeting with a Government minister to ask for a fairer distribution of funding for areas such as Pendle.