Chorley Council is to put up its share of the council tax by almost two per cent.
The authority announced the increase as it confirmed plans to refurbish Astley Hall, support the town’s markets and town centre along with a raft of other developments aimed at creating jobs and providing better healthcare facilities.
Approximately £30m of capital funding will be allocated to economic growth and business development, to deliver high quality health services and to deliver sustainable public services through transforming the council buildings and working with partners to integrate services.
Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “Funding for the council has fallen from over £17m over the last five years to £12m (funding forecast for 2024/25).
“During this period, we have continued to experience inflationary increases, creating significant financial challenges.
“In addition to cuts to funding from central government, other sources of funding for the council are becoming increasingly uncertain due to the Covid-19 pandemic, budget cuts experienced by Lancashire County Council, and the ongoing uncertainty with business rates retention.
“I’m pleased we’ve been able to present a balanced budget which, despite financial challenges, will provide important investment which will be to the benefit of the borough and our residents.”
As part of this budget the council propose an increase of their portion of the council tax bill by 1.99 per cent – which equates to 8p per week for a Band D property – and an annual increase of £2.50 for the garden waste collection cost.
Coun Wilson added: “The proposed small increase in our portion of the council tax bill and our garden waste collections is a balanced decision to allow us to maintain services and to invest in the local area and economy. The council will of course continue to support those most vulnerable and in need of additional council tax support through its council tax support scheme.
“We’ve been able to keep our council tax bill and garden waste collection cost some of the lowest in Lancashire as a result of our working to reduce our costs, which includes changing the way that we work and finding new ways to deliver services more efficiently.
“We’ve saved over £2.5m in the last three years by transforming services and reviewing contracts to ensure the best possible value for money.
“We’ve also continued to generate income to enable us to be less reliant on central government funding and have the ability to make investments that are best for the local area.”
Some significant investments the council aims to deliver include:
Tatton Gardens Extra Care Scheme – £15m to deliver another extra care scheme for the borough, a new community centre and GP surgery for the area.
Strawberry Meadows – £9.2m to deliver light industrial units for business use to drive forward local economic growth.
Whittle Health Hub – £4m of investment to develop a new GP surgery which will be modern and high-quality health facility for Whittle-le-Woods.
Leisure centres – £2m of investment as a continued commitment to improve our leisure centres.
Investment in the local economy – £200k to a deliver a refreshed and refocussed package of support and grants for businesses and £200k to develop our approach to apprenticeships, graduate and training posts in areas of high market demand so our services can continue to improve.
Investing in local areas – £200k of grant funding to make improvements in local parish areas and £2.7m to improve local play and community facilities across the borough and an additional £74k to deliver improvements at Milestone Meadow.
Coun Wilson added: “We want to get as many residents as possible to review our budget and let us know what they think. Our investments for the local area are for our borough and for our residents so we really want you to help us shape our plans.”
The consultation will run until February 4, 2022. Full details on the budget and consultation survey can be found at www.chorley.gov.uk/budget2022-23