No increase planned for Chorley’s council tax bills

Proposals: Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council

Proposals: Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council

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Council tax could be frozen for Chorley residents for the third year running.

The local authority has announced its budget proposals and does not plan to increase its portion of the bill.

The council has also revealed it plans to invest more than £4.4m in a variety of projects.

They include a new youth zone in Chorley, a flower show, support for businesses, community action plans and a look at expanding Chorley Market.

There are also plans for a new community centre in Buckshaw Village, which could be located next to a new supermarket.

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of the council, said: “In a time when we’ve had significant Government cuts year-on-year it’s a real achievement for us to be announcing yet more investment in the borough – without asking residents for a penny more.

“Since 2012 we will have invested just short of £10 million and when you compare that to the doom and gloom in other areas, that’s something we should all be proud of in Chorley.

“This year it is more good news with another package of investment totalling £4.4 million that reflects what the people of Chorley have told us they want – that includes things like creating more jobs and investment, sitting down with communities right across the borough and coming up with action plans specifically for their area and continuing to provide new events and things to do for people of all ages.”

The council says its has been told to expect a 15.5 per cent cut to its grant from the Government this year, which equates to £883,000.

But it says it has already found some ways to cover the gap and balance the books.

Some money has come from income generation projects, such as the purchase of Market Walk shopping centre, and from the New Homes Bonus.

The proposals will be considered at the council’s executive cabinet meeting next Thursday.

Residents will then be asked to have their say, before the budget is finalised in March.

Coun Mark Perks, leader of Chorley’s Conservatives, welcomed the freezing of the council tax and was particularly pleased with plans for the new community centre.

He added: “There are some interesting ideas and proposals. Some at the moment I do see the reasoning behind them and I don’t see any difficulty in myself and my group supporting them.

“There are some though that we don’t agree with. We think there are other options and we will be making these comments at the full budget meeting.”