A LOCAL authority is spending some of the cash raised by an increase in its council tax on tackling fly-tipping and rubbish-strewn back alleys.

Residents in Blackburn with Darwen will pay an extra 3.99 per cent for local town hall services from April 1 - 80p a week for a Band A terraced home and £1.20 for a Band D property.

With the extra levies for the police and fire services this means the household charge will rise by at least £52.70 a year to £1,287.62 for 2021/22.

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s finance boss Cllr Vicky McGurk has now revealed that some of the cash raised will be spent on a new street cleaning drive.

The measures are:

* Investment in a new collection team to remove waste from adopted back streets within the borough on a regular cycle;

* The employment of an additional enforcement officer to tackle fly-tipped and inappropriately managed waste in back streets locations across the borough; and

* Cutting the cost of a replacement burgundy general waste bin for a six-month trial period, from £20 to £10.

Cllr McGurk said: “We would never choose to raise council tax unnecessarily during these tough times but every year the council has a legal obligation to agree a balanced budget.

“In announcing the new investment for waste services we are responding to residents’ very valid concerns around the rise in the amount of waste and fly-tipping within the borough during the pandemic. From our own data we have seen a 15 per cent increase in general waste being placed out for collection as well as new litter from Covid waste, such as discarded face masks.”

Darwen East Liberal Democrat councillor Roy Davies, who branded the rise ‘a smack in the face’ for residents, said: “This is welcome but it should have been done long ago from the money the borough already raised from council tax.”