CHORLEY Council are looking to increase tax for only the second time in nine years due to the continual reduction in grant funding from the Government.

Councillors are looking to agree plans at a meeting on Thursday describing the decisions they are taking as some of the most difficult in many years and now the authority wants to hear from residents before final decisions are made in February.

The proposals give a gloomy financial picture but show Chorley is better placed than most to tackle the challenges ahead with investment in major projects to bring income in to the borough in return for residents paying 2.99 per cent — an extra 10p per week in council tax.

Cllr Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “We’ve reached a point now where all local authorities, not just ourselves, are faced with having to increase council tax or cut services because the Government is taking more and more money away and leaving us to take the blame for putting taxation up.

“We are committed to providing the best possible services for residents so it is really important you have your say on where we are spending your money.

“We have to balance getting the very best for the borough against the financial challenges we face. To get that right we need to know whether you feel we’ve got our priorities right.

“The good news is, despite all this, the proposals allow us to be one of the few authorities in the country that has been able to maintain services and continue to invest in making our borough a better place to live, work and visit.”

The authority is looking to deliver major projects with significant investment in: town centre improvements, Market Walk extension, Primrose Gardens Retirement Village, Digital Health Park and Chorley Youth Zone.

The plans mean that there will be no cuts in services and they will continue to provide additional resources to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Town hall bosses face a budget gap of £3.3m by 2020.

“We have tried to protect residents from any increases but we have to be clear that things are changing,” said councillor Wilson.

“We have a stark choice between cutting services, which will impact on people’s lives, or asking people to pay a little bit more to allow us to maintain services and continue to offset cuts from other organisations by keeping libraries open and saving some of the most valued bus routes in the borough.

“I know some people will at first be annoyed at having to pay more in council tax but I’d ask people to look at all the improvements we’ve made over the last few years both to the town centre, our parks and open spaces, the investment we’ve attracted to create new jobs and the events we have put on to give people more to do here in Chorley.

“It is a judgement call but we think it is worth that bit extra this year to allow us to keep improving the borough rather than seeing services that we provide starting to diminish.

“We’re publishing all our plans for how we will spend people’s money over the next financial year so it’s important people take the time to have their say and let us know what they think before we finalise the budget in February.”

You can take part in the budget consultation at or by calling into the offices on Union Street.

All comments will need to be submitted by Friday, February 9.