No council tax rise in South Ribble

South Ribble faced a tough task as Government cut grants
South Ribble faced a tough task as Government cut grants
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Council tax will not rise for South Ribble residents, despite the borough council receiving a 29 per cent funding cut from central government.

Council tax will not rise for South Ribble residents, despite the borough council receiving a 29 per cent funding cut from central government.

As well as freezing council tax for 2011/12, South Ribble Borough Council has targeted £2.6 million of savings over the next two years.

There will be no increases in council tax from Lancashire County Council, the police or fire authority, meaning the overall figure residents will pay has not risen at all for the first time, since council tax was introduced in 1993.

Coun Stephen Robinson, cabinet member with responsibility for finance and resources, also added that the council is on course to save £1.1m in the 2010/2011 financial year, smashing the £920,000 target, and that it has managed to repay £3.3m in debt since April 2007.

On top of this, there are to be no immediate redundancies, no increase in car parking fees, and the borough’s Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are here to stay.

Speaking at the Civic Centre on Wednesday, Coun Robinson said: “Our grant settlement from the government has been reduced by over 16 per cent for 2011 and 2012, and a further 13 per cent in 2012 and 2013, representing £1.041m in the next financial year and £699,000 in 2012 and 2013.”

He added: “When faced with such a huge deficit, everyone and every organisation has to take their share of the burden.

“Local government is no different and cannot escape the consequences of the financial difficulties we are all facing.

“Here in South Ribble we are facing a very tough settlement, tougher in many respects than any other district council in Lancashire.”

In terms of senior staff, the council has cut senior pay costs by more than 40 per cent since April last year, and announced that no redundancies are foreseen as part of the budget plans, although they cannot be ruled out in the future.

Coun Robinson said that as well as achieving its savings targets, the council has also managed its financial situation by sharing services with Chorley Borough Council.