Council tax set to increase

Council offices at West Paddock, Leyland
Council offices at West Paddock, Leyland

Council tax is set to rise in South Ribble for the first time in three years.

South Ribble Borough Council has decided to increase its share of council tax by 2.5 per cent this year, after its funding from the government was slashed by more than 13 per cent.

The budget report also reveals that 15 members of staff have taken redundancy or early retirement, as part of the council’s bid to cut spending in 2012/13.

Coun Stephen Robinson, cabinet member for finance, said: “Our priority is to protect and maintain frontline services for residents, and with the reduction in funding from central government, it is a difficult balancing act.

“We thought long and hard about what to do, and we’ve come to the decision to raise our share of council tax by 2.5 per cent.”

This year’s budget is just over £13m, down from £15m last year, and while the council saved more than £1.9m in 2011/12, it must save a further £1m this financial year.

The council keeps around 13p from every pound gained in council tax, with the rest going to Lancashire County Council, the police and fire services.

The changes mean that residents living in a Band D property will pay the council £208.38 in 2012/13, up from £203.30 last year - an increase of around 10p per week.

As a result, the council will get a further £189,000 from council tax next year.

- For the full report about what this will mean for services and projects in South Ribble, see this week’s Leyland Guardian.