Fylde £8.5m in red

Fylde Town Hall and (below) Coun Liz Oades
Fylde Town Hall and (below) Coun Liz Oades
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FYLDE Council will have to go £8.5m in debt to maintain its current services.

In a mid-year audit meeting, councillors met to debate the borrowing of £4.7m on top of existing long-term debt levels of £3.8m.

The cash is needed to pay for the area’s wheelie bins and bin wagons, improvements at the crematorium and chapel, changes at Ashton Gardens, refurbishments at St Annes Pool, upgrades to the computer system in the council’s revenues and benefits department, regeneration schemes, and work at the council’s Snowdon Road vehicle depot.

The report refers to current borrowing levels, saying at present they “reflect the level of external debt which, while not desired, could be afforded in the short term, but is not sustainable in the longer term”.

It remains unclear what effect the deepening financial black hole will have on the 70,000 council tax payers in Fylde.

Coun Liz Oades said: “We are spending more money than we are taking in.

“The Government is cutting local authority grants and there’s only so many savings Fylde Council can continue to make. It will come down to a choice between certain services if this continues. Fylde has had to cut and cut and cut over the last eight years.”

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