A historic East Lancashire monument is to be lit up to mark the 50th anniversary of Ribble Valley Council.

Clitheroe Castle will be bathed in green light this weekend to mark the golden jubilee of the borough.

Forest green is the corporate colour of the rural authority, created following the massive re-organisation of local government in April 1974.

The reorganisation saw the country divided into ‘districts’, one of which was the Ribble Valley and, at 225 square miles, was the largest geographically in Lancashire.

It had the smallest population, at the time fewer than 50,000 residents.

Since then, Ribble Valley Council has recorded high customer satisfaction rates has one of the lowest district council taxes in the UK and is the only authority in Lancashire to collect refuse weekly, and not charge for green waste.

This year the authority launched an ambitious £13 million five-year capital programme featuring improvements to play areas, public toilets and car parks, along with £1m for projects marking its 50th anniversary and £500,000 for improvements to Clitheroe Castle and grounds.

The council has already marked the anniversary by planting 10 carbon-busting giant redwoods in Clitheroe and Longridge, with a further 40 of the super-trees to be planted at parishes throughout the borough over the coming weeks.

Ribble Valley Council leader, Councillor Stephen Atkinson, said: “We may be a small district authority, but we have been punching above our weight for years.

“We have no debt, significant reserves, the lowest district council tax in Lancashire and one of the lowest in the UK.

“At the same time, we have launched an ambitious capital programme and are still the only authority in Lancashire to collect refuse weekly and not charge for green waste.

“But it’s not just our financial record that is outstanding – we are also the fifth healthiest borough in the UK and the safest in the North-West according to recent Office of National Statistics figures.

“And over the years we have delivered a raft of groundbreaking and award-winning schemes from multi-million-pound redevelopment projects to the resurgence in regional hospitality.

“These are significant achievements built on many years of careful financial management, as well as the skill and dedication of staff across the authority/

“Ribble Valley has a bright future and we will continue to deliver the services our residents value as we look forward to the next fifty golden years.”