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Winners and losers in Pendle council tax freeze
POLITICIANS in Pendle have voted to freeze their portion of the council tax for the sixth year running.
But there will still be winners and losers across the borough as a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition backed a savings package of £788,000 - and used £2.1million of town hall reserves to stave off deeper cuts.
The future of Colne’s blues festival and Camerata were secured - but Pendle Leisure Trust will be asked to make £60,000 of staff savings - £33,000 more than bosses had suggested.
The Discover Pendle Centre, outside Boundary Mill, the borough’s countryside access service and Environmental Action Group have been saved.
But the ACE Centre in Nelson will now only fully open when events are ongoing and the small grants fund for community projects has been halved.
Around £160,000 will be recouped by charges for collecting garden waste - however fees for replacement bins will not be enforced.
Council leader Coun Joe Cooney said: “I feel confident that we are heading in the right direction. Our long-term economic plan is working.”
And he claimed Labour had ‘abandoned Colne’ by proposing pool time reductions with the leisure trust and ditching the blues festival.
Labour group leader Coun Mohammed Iqbal said Colne Town Council had increased its precept by 35 per cent and could take on the ‘blues’ costs - and pool timings would be negotiated with the trust.
Coun Iqbal added: “The people of Pendle need to realise that this government has never been interested in Pendle and if, God forbid, they get another term then Pendle will not even exist.”
Senior Liberal Democrat Coun Tony Greaves said that it was ‘not worth risking’ the authority’s £1million efficiency support grant by raising council taxes.
But he warned that such ‘catastrophic’ cuts would not be sustainable in future years. The council will receive £62,170 from Whitehall for not increasing council tax.