An East Lancashire council has achieved an underspend on its budget six times more than expected.

Burnley Council's surplus for the year 2022/23 ended up as £61,000.

This compares with an estimate of just £9,000 three months ago.

Resources boss Cllr Sue Graham told the authority's executive as she announced the unexpected financial bonus: "Our finance staff have done a fantastic job.

"In the first two quarter things were looking difficult but once again we have got through by quarter four.

Her report to her fellow senior councillors said: "The provisional final position on the Council’s revenue account for 2022/23, being a net underspend of £61,000 which is to be transferred to the Revenue Support Reserve.

"The projected underspend estimated at quarter three budget monitoring was £9,000.

"The transfers to/from Earmarked Reserves totalling a net £2.368 million increase to reserves including carry forward requests subject to approval but excluding the recommended Revenue Support Reserve transfer above.

"Members will recall that there were three quarterly budget monitoring reports to the Executive during 2022/23.

"These reports disclosed that there were anticipated variations in spending and income compared with the revised budget, not least due to the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and cost-of-living crisis.

"The third and most recent in-year monitoring report to Full Council, in February 2023, estimated a year end underspend of £9,000 on the revenue account.

"Available revenue resources as at March 31 have been confirmed at £17.486m, up from £15.321m approved as part of the original 2022/23 budget.

"This net increase is largely due to additional grants received as compensation from Government for lost income relating to additional Business Rate Reliefs made available to businesses in the borough during the year.

Her Conservative group shadow Cllr Jamie McGowan said: "Labour and the Liberal Democrats raise the council tax every year.

"At the budget meeting we proposed to freeze it for every house in Burnley and Padiham.

"This shows the money is there and council tax should have been frozen for the year 2023/24."