A TAX freeze for 2013-14 has been agreed by Lancashire county councillors for their portion of the council tax.

But county treasurer Gill Fitzpatrick has warned that the authority is facing tough times ahead as it must find cuts of £250million by 2017.

The decision, passed by the council’s cabinet yesterday, will be debated by the full council on February 21.

It will mean the county’s portion of the council tax bill, for a band D property, will be £1,108 per year.

Cutbacks on £89million have already been agreed for this coming year, affecting Burnley, Hyndburn, Rossendale, Pendle and Ribble Valley. Some of the largest chunks are coming from social care fee reductions, reducing non-residential social care services, remodelling the learning disability and children and young people’s care services and trimming the special education needs transport bill.

The county council provides major services such as schools, highways, social services and waste management and accounts for 70 per cent of council tax bills.

An extra investment of £2.9million was also agreed by county councillors in ‘extra care’ supported housing schemes in Lancashire.

Lancashire Youth Council has also again been consulted on the budget and representatives have given their views to the cabinet.

Loren Coles, Chorley’s Youth Parliament member, said: “The highest priority is job opportunities for young people.”

But the provisions for parks and open spaces was least favoured by the youth council – with delegates calling for volunteers to take responsibility for beauty spots.