Pendle freezes council tax again

Nelson Town Hall.'Photo Ben Parsons
Nelson Town Hall.'Photo Ben Parsons
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Pendle Council has voted to freeze its share of the council tax for a sixth successive year.

Members of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups, who share the seats on the council’s Executive, approved a budget showing savings of £788.170 for 2014/15.

Under new rules brought in by the Government, votes on budget issues now have to be recorded, and the joint budget was passed by 28 votes to 14.

A Labour amendment which would have seen the funding for the Rhythm and Blues Festival withdrawn and the Labour group working with Pendle Leisure Trust to manage opening hours of swimming pools to save a further £95,000 was defeated.

The new budget will see a charge introduced for the collection of garden waste and no council funding for Christmas and Eid decorations, although it is hoped that parish and town councils will pick up some of the costs for these.

But management team proposals to bring in charges for the collection of bulky household waste and replacement wheelie bins were not accepted, as was a suggestion to drop a contribution of £66,000 towards the cost of police and community support officers.

Coun. Linda Crossley, Executive member for central services, said: “We have frozen the council tax for the sixth successive year, which is a great achievement.

“I thank all the members of staff who have worked so hard to help us, and Dean Langton (head of central services) and his staff for the time and effort put into the budget preparation.”

Coun. Tony Greaves said the Liberal Democrats had successfully argued for a number of items in the budget and warned for difficult challenges in the years ahead through cuts in funding.

Labour group leader Coun. Mohammed Iqbal said local government was at the bottom of the Government’s priorities and said if it was re-elected next year, councils such as Pendle would cease to exist - “it is a one-way road to extinction,” he said.

Lancashire County Council and the county’s police and crime commissioner have both voted to increase their portions of the council tax by 1.99 per cent.

Tax bills will be sent out to homes in Pendle in the near future.