Tax freeze plan

St Annes Town Hall
St Annes Town Hall

FYLDE Council looks set to freeze its portion of council tax for the third year in a row.

Cabinet members are expected to recommend a freeze for the coming financial year at their next meeting, a move Fylde Council leader Coun David Eaves has praised.

He said: “The council’s net budget in 2010 was close to £11.5m and now we have it down to £10.6m – without any loss in frontline services and with very limited redundancies.

“No-one likes to pay council tax. When the bill does arrive they want to know they are getting value for money and these figures speak for themselves.”

The move means taxpayers in a Band D property will pay Fylde £185.92 per year, a slight fall from £186.29 last year.

Rates from the fire service, police and Lancashire County Council are yet to be confirmed.

More than £400,000 per year of savings have been made at the council and they have included ongoing pay freezes for staff, a reduction in senior and middle management posts and a small number of retirements.

Coun Eaves added: “The council has changed its ways of working to get costs down. Managers are working more cost-effectively and there are fewer of them. Staff and elected members have had a freeze on pay and allowances for three years helping to further reduce our costs.”

RAs well as the Council Tax freeze, budget proposals include plans for Kirkham to be improved, with £70,000 earmarked over the next two years to boost the town centre, while further monies will be provided to help develop Fylde parks, extra funding given to the Fylde Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) and a contribution to a county-wide campaign against domestic violence.

Spending plans also include an infant memorial garden at Lytham’s cemetery, a new pumping station at Lytham Park cemetery to reduce flooding, replacement of CCTV cameras and refurbishment of the rock and water garden in Ashton Gardens, St Annes.

For the full story, see this week’s Express.