COUNCIL tax has been frozen in Rossendale — and bosses insist it will not lead to cuts in services.

The Conservative-led Rossendale Council announced the move, saying it was fair to residents who had faced little pay rises and cuts in hours and overtime.

It means Band D taxpayers will continue to pay £253.40 a year towards the £11.8million budget.

Council chiefs plan £821,000 of efficiency savings they say will not hit services.

They are planning a 'revamp' of the administrative staff team as well as reviewing the roles of all full-time employees.

Labour councillors were not convinced the ruling group could promise no cuts to the frontline.

Coun Brian Essex, responsible for finance and resources with the council, said: “Throughout the borough its been very hard for families this year.

“Workers have had their shifts cut there have been very few pay rises and overtime has been abolished in some places.

“It is only fair that council tax stays at the same rate and not at the cost of cutting public services.

“We must continue to invest in the borough.”

The leader of the Rossendale Labour party questioned the council’s pledges.

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Alyson Barnes said: “Though we welcome the zero percent rise in council tax. It worries me that people are often not getting what they deserve in many services provided by the council at present.

“The controlling group cries poverty highlighting how little funding it receives from central government , but then states it will not be cutting public services.

“We would have also decided not to raise council tax but I think the Tory party are looking for the headline without delivering some of this things it promises like full consultations.

“If the group does decide to cut public services to save money, it would be devastating.”

Coun Essex also announced that council staff would not see a pay rise this year in a bid to tighten spending.

The Rossendale precept will be added to the county council, police and fire service precepts to give the total bill.