Council tax to be frozen

Fylde town hall at St Annes
Fylde town hall at St Annes

FYLDE Council is preparing to splash the cash despite freezing tax.

Average council tax looks set to be frozen for a second year – but that won’t stop hundreds of thousands of pounds being spent on improvements.

Council leaders are planning to put £200,000 into improving Ansdell – with new paving, street furniture and landscaping – as well as freezing car park charges and pumping £40,000 into promenade pavements in St Annes.

Next year’s budget will go before the Cabinet on Wednesday, February 15.

Leader Coun David Eaves said: “We must continue to seek more for less. Fylde residents know that times are hard. The main Government grants to Fylde Council have been cut by £600,000 for the coming financial year – in addition to a reduction of £1.5m last year. It has left a hole in our budget that we have accommodated through efficiency savings.

“We have restructured the management team, reducing the number of directors from four to three – saving more than £80,000 per year. A further planned restructure will cut costs even further.”

The average band D council tax across the borough is set to remain at £186.29, although some residents will see a slight increase because of changes to special expenses.

Kirkham residents will no longer pay special expenses – instead paying the parks and gardens charge directly to Kirkham Town Council – with the £85,000 Fylde used to collect from the town re-distributed among the rest of the borough.

Finance chief Coun Karen Buckley added: “No-one likes paying Council Tax, so the least we can do is continue to offer residents value for money.

“We started saving four years ago to avoid hitting a financial brick wall now.

“Those savings are now paying off and we have a budget that is balanced over the medium term.

“Details of budget proposals often change at the last minute but the outline is already clear: the amount that Fylde Council collects in Council Tax will be frozen.”