Council tax bills to increase in Burnley
10:00am Saturday 2nd March 2013 in News
COUNCIL tax bills will increase by just under two per cent for Burnley Council’s share of the levy.
Town hall chiefs insist that their spending powers have been hit by an almost nine per cent cut - the worst in the country.
And they say they have produced a ‘growth’ budget, designed to stimulate the borough’s economy over the next few years.
The £1million business support programme, offering support for local firms to develop or seek larger premises, was officially ratified.
Opposition Liberal Democrat councillors put forward a budget which would have resulted in a council tax freeze - but axed the nine-hole golf course at Towneley Park.
But this amendment was defeated, amid pledges to retain jointly-funded police community support officers for the next two years and extending the authority’s dog wardens service.
Coun Mark Townsend, resources cabinet member, said: “This has been probably the most challenging budget the council has ever set.
“We have had to find a way of balancing the books while, at the same time, making sure we continue to provide efficient high quality services and support local residents and businesses, all against a backdrop of massive cuts in our Government grant.
“Our spending power has been cut by 8.8%, with Burnley being hit the hardest of any area in the country, and all this depends on us successfully jumping through Whitehall hoops to get a temporary efficiency support grant.”
The councillor said the rise - which is actually a 1.995 per cent increase - will only cost 7p per week for most residents.
Regenerating the Weavers’ Triangle and making preparations for the overhaul of Burnley Manchester Road railway station and reinstatement of the Todmorden Curve, will continue to be priorities.