THE people of Pendle will struggle to keep up with their council tax bills after a 4.2 per cent increase, Conservative councillor Linda Crossley has warned.

The council tax rise will mean the majority of people living in Pendle will receive bills of £690 and those in Band D will be paying out more than £1,000.

Pendle Borough Council's total spending was put up by six per cent this year but Lancashire County Council restricted its increase to 3.5 per cent so the overall council tax rise averaged out at 4.2 per cent.

Coun Crossley said: "We are very disappointed that our own budget didn't get through.

"It would have meant that the council tax from Pendle Borough Council would have only been 3.6 per cent. We thought we had put forward a budget that would work and benefit all the people of Pendle and we were particularly concerned that the increase be kept to a minimum.

"You've got to look at the inflation rate of 2.5 per cent. People are not going to be getting a salary increase above the rate of inflation and a lot of people will struggle with it.

"We were particularly concerned that the services wouldn't suffer, which I still don't think they will do with this budget, but people are paying a high price for it." Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Alan Davies, also believed the increase should have been less.

He said: "We feel that overall the level is higher than we would have liked it to be.

"We are concerned that the balance is wrong and it is taking money away from individual organisations that use voluntary effort to match council funding.

"It's also leaving major issues like the cut back of grass cutting services. They are always going for soft easy targets."