St Annes Town Council has agreed a budget for 2016/17 which will cost Band D payers just over three pence a week more on their council tax bill.
The council claims the small increase will allow it to continue its programme supporting local groups and the local economy, including the St Annes Enterprise Partnership, the St Annes in Bloom group, the Youth Council, the town’s award-winning allotments, the Carnival, the Kite Festival and the Music and Arts Festival, along with an increasing number of other events aimed at attracting visitors to the town.
The town council, which celeberated its 10th anniversary last year, also maintains and develops the public rights of way, awards grants to community projects and is responsible for the town flag and flag poles.
Officials say the funding will also be used to extend the Christmas lights and support other improvements across the town as well as assisting in the delivery of St Annes Neighbourhood Development Plan, which includes tree planting and enhancement of the town’s gateways and, after extensive public consultation, has recently been submitted to Fylde Council for inclusion in the Fylde Local Plan.
Previously the town council has used its reserves to fund improvements but Coun Vince Settle, St Annes town mayor and chairman of the Town Council, said that was no longer a sustainable option.
He said: “Like all councils we were faced with a reduction in finance from central government, compounded this year by a reduced grant.
“By using £12,000 of the Council’s general reserves, we are substantially reducing the increase needed to support the Town Council’s programme of work.
“We therefore thought it prudent and acceptable to ask for 3p per week to maintain our work.
“With only a small staff, our 12 councillors work hard for the people of St Annes and take no financial remuneration.
“We have no wish to cut the service that we give to the town and indeed may well have to take on more responsibilities in the future. We can’t provide ‘something for nothing’ but we can do it for the minimum and that is what we have decided upon.
“We are looking forward to a great year for St Annes on the Sea and we hope that more and more people will take part to help it be so.”