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South Ribble to freeze its council tax portion

Clashing ideas: Coun Stephen Robinson and below, Coun Paul Foster

Clashing ideas: Coun Stephen Robinson and below, Coun Paul Foster

South Ribble Council has agreed to freeze its part of the council tax for the next financial year.

Councillors met at the Civic Centre to vote through the proposal for no increase for 2014-15, putting the borough’s share of the overall bill at £208.38 per year for a Band D property.

The freeze is despite the council seeing a further reduction of 28 per cent (£1.4m) over the next two years from its government funding.

However, Coun Stephen Robinson, cabinet member with responsibility for finance and resources, said the local authority had saved cash last year, putting it in a better than expected position when calculating this year’s finances.

He said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to freeze our share of council tax for the fourth time in five years, keeping more money in the pockets of our residents. We’ve managed to successfully plan ahead to ensure that financial implications won’t have a detrimental effect on vital frontline services.

“Budget efficiencies from last year actually put us in a better position than expected this year.”

But the opposition Labour party warned that the council is heading for a huge financial crash.

Coun Paul Foster, shadow member for finance and resources, said: “This budget is striking by the very fact it is woefully void of anything of substance, of anything new – one more year of the Conservatives marking time and awaiting the inevitable crash.”

He added: “This is a tired budget from a tired, out-of- touch cabinet.

“Coun Robinson and his Conservative colleagues need to move on.

“South Ribble has had enough.”

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