Tax rise bid to save £3m

Latest news from the Lancashire Evening Post
Latest news from the Lancashire Evening Post
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Householders face a two per cent increase in council tax as cash-strapped Preston Council struggles to save almost £1m over the next year.

Budget proposals published by the council’s Labour leaders today warn the local authority’s finances face a “turbulent future”, with one of the toughest reductions in Government grant of any council in England.

Council leaders said the tax rise was the only way to protect frontline services as it is strives to save £3m by 2016.

The move would mean an increase for Band D householders of £5.37 a year on the Preston Council element of their council tax, at a time when Lancashire police is also planning to increase its share by two per cent - £3 a year.

A one per cent pay increase is planned for city council staff in 2013-14, but a report reveales there will be a “small reduction” in staff, with four-and-a-half jobs expected to be lost. Around £245,000 in savings will be made by a restructure of back office services.

Meanwhile, a £1m underspend on Preston Guild will be held over for the next Guild in 2032. Opposition councillors have today called for fuller details on how savings will be achieved over the next three years.

The plans will be discussed at a cabinet meeting tomorrow night, before being put before the full council on February 28.