RESIDENTS in Fylde and Wyre could see their bills fall after Lancashire County Council voted to reduce council tax for the first time in more than 30 years.
The change means a Band D household will pay £1,086.13 in 2013/14, compared with £1,108.30 currently – a saving of £22.17. The total amount of council tax collected in 2013/14 will be £360,214,000, compared to £367,565,000, if it had been frozen.
Blackpool, a unitary authority, is not affected by the vote.
During a meeting at county hall, council leader Geoff Driver said the authority could afford to make a two per cent cut thanks to efficiency savings and a Government freeze grant.
Coun Driver said cash to facilitate budget came from a £215m saving, over four years, in administration and bureaucracy costs, as well as £5m from treasury management savings, £10m from strategic investment reserves, and the one per cent Government grant.
The capital investment budget for 2013/14 is £350.1m and plans include:
• The creation of a £5m centre for dementia sufferers in Bowgreave Rise, Garstang.
• £6m funding to create Youth Zones in every district;
• £3.7m to fund 48 new PCSOs – or four for every district.
• £3.3m towards training to get people back to work.
• £3m towards the redevelopment of the Tower Wood sports centre in Windermere for disabled children.
• £1m to create ‘changing places’ toilets for people with disabilities in major centres.
• £1m fot a new fleet of mobile youth centres.
However the plan was criticised by opposition Labour and Lib Dem councillors who called in an “electioneering gimmick”.