Tax rise defended as ‘modest’

Latest news from the Lancashire Evening Post
Latest news from the Lancashire Evening Post
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A Lancashire council has defended its decision to raise council tax by two per cent this year.

Lancaster Council has announced it will increase its share of the tax in an effort to protect its frontline services.

Residents will pay an extra £3.84 a year for a Band D property from April.

The move comes a week after Preston Council announced it also plans to raise its share of the council tax by two percent as it struggles to save £3m over the next three years.

Coun Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster Council, said: “The city council has frozen its council tax for the last two years to help all households in the short term and during this time we have focused on making big efficiency savings in a drive to protect frontline services.

“Unfortunately we have now reached the point where to maintain a freeze for another year would have an unacceptable impact on service provision.

“The outlook is incredibly bleak.

“Government funding will fall dramatically again over the next couple of years.

“Our budget now stands at £5m less than it did three years ago and in 2014/15 we will have to make further savings of £1.2m and then £2.5m in 2015/16.

“We therefore need to do what we can now to try and protect vital frontline services in the future and to do that a modest increase in council tax is necessary.”

Lancashire police also announced plans to increase its council tax precept by 2.5 per cent.