No council tax increase as budget set

Coun Peter Wilson

Coun Peter Wilson

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Council tax has been frozen for the fourth consecutive year in Chorley.

Councillors agreed to keep it at the same level when they set the budget on Tuesday.

They also decided to invest £2.8m in services, including helping people to get online, town centre improvements and free swimming for children in school holidays.

Money was set aside to invest in projects providing income for the council and to offset the cuts being made by Lancashire County Council.

Deputy council leader Coun Peter Wilson said at the council meeting: “What we are doing as a council is equipping ourselves to make sure that we are financially robust, that we do plan for the future, that we increase our money going into balances at the same time as investing heavily in frontline services and the areas where we think and we know that residents want to see money going into.”

Council leader Coun Alistair Bradley seconded the budget, highlighting the low vacancy rates in the town centre and record employment levels.

An alternative budget proposal was put forward by the Conservatives’ deputy leader Coun Greg Morgan, with alternative investments and efficiency savings, including increasing staff productivity.

He argued the council should commit to funding for PCSOs for three years, as they are a priority for residents.

Labour’s budget had funding for one year and Coun Graham Dunn said it would be “irresponsible” to commit to three years due to the changing funding situation.