Hyndburn's council tax frozen despite funding cut

A COUNCIL has slashed spending by £1.2million after severe funding cuts.

The move comes as a number of voluntary redundancies take place at Hyndburn Council, but compulsory redundancies have been avoided.

The authority said it had managed to avoid an increase in council tax, and pledged no further increases for the next two years.

Council leader Miles Park-inson said the savings made were the result of staff taking early retirement, voluntary redundancy, and reducing their hours.

But opposition leader Peter Britcliffe said the budget did not do enough for the borough.

He said: “I find it a dull, uninspiring and unimag-inative budget. It does absolutely nothing to reg-enerate the economy of Hyndburn.

“I do, however, welcome the fact that a government grant has enabled council tax to be frozen.”

The reduction of £1.2million is 10per cent of the overall budget.

No compulsory redundancies will take place, and fewer than 10 voluntary redundancies will be made.

Hyndburn has seen government funding fall from £9million in 2010, to £6.8mill- ion last year, and £6.2million this year. It is expected to drop to £5.3million by 2015.

Coun Parkinson said: “It was difficult to make savings because we had streamlined so much already.

“And things are only going to get tighter in the years ahead.

“Our staff worked with us to make savings, reducing their hours and taking voluntary redundancies and early retirement.

“This has meant we have been able to avoid compulsory redundancies.”

Hyndburn Council also said money was set aside to assist the most needy in dealing with the major changes in council tax benefits.

The council has also agreed to a Lancashire-wide funding scheme to help the victims of domestic violence. Spending commitments made in the budget make up a capital programme of over £6.3million.

This includes £4million earmarked to support ren-ovation in Woodnook, and overhaul poor housing stock. Investment will also be made in leisure and community facilities in Great Harwood, at Lyndon Playing Fields, and at Milnshaw Park for an all-weather play facility for cricket, basketball, and kabbaddi.

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