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Council tax set to rise across Lancs and what it will cost you

Written by on January 13, 2021

Budget proposals which would add a minimum of £46 on to annual council tax bills are set to get the nod from Lancashire County Council (LCC).

A report to the LCC Cabinet meeting on Thursday (January 14) recommends a maximum council tax precept rise of 4.99 per cent – including 3 per cent to be used for adult social care.

The county hall precept amounts to the lion’s share of the overall bill for taxpayers across the county’s boroughs.

LCC’s precept for Band A homes 2020/1 was £933.55pa. Residents in higher bands pay a higher rate, and will therefore face a proportionately larger increase.

Furthermore, the overall bill rise for council tax payers could yet be higher if other authorities, including district councils, police or fire, implement their own increases.

LancsLive reported in December how Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave cash-strapped councils permission to increase bills higher than the rate of inflation as part of his Spending Review.

It means they can hike up bills by five per cent in total, resulting in a £100 increase for a band D home in Preston, £95.03 in Blackpool and £92.61 in Blackburn with Darwen.

The new LCC report by the Chief Executive and Director of Resources states that there is “ongoing and unprecedented uncertainty” in relation to future local government funding, exacerbated by the financial impact of the COVID-19 emergency.

In a statement, the council said the council’s finances “remain in a strong position” and, based on the current forecast, there are sufficient reserves to support the revenue budget gap through to and including 2023/24, the end of the council’s current Medium Term Financial Strategy.

LCC leader County Coun Geoff Driver CBE said: “The pandemic which we’ve faced since shows just how important it is to be on a solid footing and have the financial resilience to be able to cope with the unexpected.

“Whilst Covid-19 has thrown up many challenges, I’m glad to be able to report that we’re still in a strong position and able to continue to invest in important council services for the benefit of people in Lancashire.”

While the council has had to divert resources to responding to the emergency pandemic, progress is now due to resume on identifying ways of meeting the future funding gap via additional savings and improved ways of working.

County Coun Driver added: “Like every other local authority we face continued pressures on our budget, and this is expected to continue, with the pandemic expected to add to ongoing demand in some areas such as children’s social care.

“As the report outlines, the pandemic also meant the government’s multi-year spending review was delayed, and last year’s funding settlement covered just one year.

“This and other demographic factors mean that, while we have based the forecast on the best available information, there remains a great deal of uncertainty about the future.”

The ‘Money Matters’ report does, however, carry a less bleak projection of the county hall’s forecast funding gap for 2023/4 – reducted to £54m from the previous £79m estimate.

A final decision on the county hall’s budget is due to be taken by full council on February 11.

What would a council tax increase mean for your area of Lancashire?

Council || Increase for a band D home

Blackburn with Darwen || £92.61

Blackpool || £95.03

Burnley ||  £99.44

Chorley || £94.13

Fylde || £96.40

Hyndburn || £96.65

Lancaster || £95.72

Pendle || £97.66

Preston || £100.16

Ribble Valley || £91.91

Rossendale || £98.11

South Ribble || £94.38

West Lancashire || £95.60

Wyre || £94.36

* Note – Band D rates can be higher in some boroughs depending on additional parish precepts.

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