Council tax to be frozen

Fylde town hall at St Annes
Fylde town hall at St Annes
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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.”