COUNCIL tax in Pendle will rise by 1.99 per cent after members agreed a budget for the next financial year.

Leader of Pendle Council, Cllr Mohammed Iqbal said: “We have followed Government guidance and kept our council tax increase as low as possible whilst protecting and improving vital frontline services which matter to Pendle people.

“For the last three years, Pendle’s council tax has increased by 2.99 per cent but this year the increase is 1 per cent less at 1.99 per cent."

As part of the 2020/21 budget, councillors scrapped charges for replacing wheelie bins and the borough will see a return to free bulky household waste collections.

A new £100,000 pot has also been pledged to tackle global warming and the effects of climate change.

Cllr Iqbal added: "People have been unhappy about paying nearly £25 for a replacement bin, so we will now provide them for free.

“We’ve also decided to re-instate the free bulky household waste collections we had over two years ago.

“This will help local people dispose of bulky items like old sofas and freezers in a bid to protect the environment and reduce fly tipping in Pendle.

“And we know that keeping the streets clean is one of the top priorities for local people, so there will be no cut-backs to this valued service.”

Councillors also showed their commitment to putting plans into action to tackle climate change locally, following the climate emergency declared at the full council meeting in July.

The council also agreed to sustain funding for Pendle Leisure Trust to provide fitness, sport and healthy lifestyle facilities and services.

Cllr Iqbal added: “We are working with Pendle Leisure Trust and other partners on strategies to improve the well-being of people in Pendle for a more active community.

“We have agreed a budget which puts local people first.

“This is an achievement given the financial challenges we still face.

“Over the next three years Pendle Council has to make substantial savings.

“We are on course to make these savings by offering some of our services commercially, such as bespoke food safety advice for food businesses.

“And we are reducing our staffing costs by not filling vacant posts.

“Our programme of transferring parks and open spaces to local town and parish councils is continuing as we no longer have the funds to manage them all.

“Pendle Council’s aim is to protect these important spaces for local people as future funding from central government to us is uncertain."