Wyre's £5 a year council tax rise and budget approved
Wyre Council’s budget and council tax for the year ahead have been approved at a meeting of full council.
The council has decided to follow the government’s lead to maximise spending power potential whilst keeping costs low for residents, raising council tax by just £5 a year, or 10p per week on a Band D property.
Coun David Henderson, leader of Wyre Council, said: “We are proud to provide our services to the residents of Wyre for 57p per day, based on a Band D property.
“Wyre Council collects council tax on behalf of all the authorities that provide services in the area, but our element equates to just under 11% of your total bill. If you live in a Band D property you will pay £209.74 to Wyre Council for the year.
“Over the last 11 years we have lost £7m in funding which is the equivalent of over 78% of our grant back in 2010/11, which was £8.9m.
"We have prepared for this by reducing spending, not increasing the level of borrowing and balancing the books through efficiency savings, income generation and prudent financial management including exploring commercial opportunities.
“We have an excellent track record of delivering efficiency savings which has protected residents from the full impact of reductions in funding. We've saved over £6.1m since 2010/11, that's an average of £614,000 per year.
“We continue to do all of this whilst still providing excellent services for our residents. Over the past twelve months, Wyre Council has played a key role in supporting residents and businesses throughout the pandemic.
“Last year, we quickly mobilised our community hubs to help vulnerable people in Wyre as they were told to shield and stay at home. This vital service has provided support to thousands of people. We’ve delivered food parcels, helped people with shopping and prescription deliveries and provided a friendly voice on the other end of the phone to people who needed to know that help was available.
“Many staff have been moved from their regular jobs into new roles. These range from working on the community hub to working on the NHS Test and Trace programme, contacting local people who have tested positive and offering support to help them self-isolate.
“We have set up testing centres across the borough and are supporting the NHS vaccine roll out, using every asset available to us to including the Civic Centre, our theatres and our car parks.
“We have paid over £41 million to local businesses in grants, and have worked hard to process payments quickly, adapting to changing guidance. This work continues as new business support grants are introduced. We have worked with the Health and Safety Executive and alongside our Covid marshals, we are helping establishments in different sectors to reopen safely when restrictions are lifted.
“On top of all this, we have continued to provide our essential services which is a testament to all the staff at the council.
“Looking to the future, we have a lot to look forward to. We are pleased to be working with local businesses and town centre partnership boards to help get our high streets back on their feet. We have set aside £300,000 for a new Town Centre Strategy Fund to help support business recovery in key economic centres in the borough.
“We are also here for local community groups, who have worked so hard to support people over the last year. We will continue to raise much needed funds for good causes with our community lottery which to date has raised over £38,000.
“As we progress along the roadmap out of lockdown, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to re-discover our beautiful part of the country. We will also be re starting our Great Outdoors and Healthier Wyre programme of activities which will allow people to reconnect with others, get more active and explore the borough.
“The restoration project at the Mount is now complete and the pavilion and the lodge will soon be back in regular use.
“Our beach management scheme is due to start later this year. This project involves a significant investment of £40 million which will benefit Cleveleys and the surrounding area by further protecting 11,000 properties from flooding.
“We also hope to make good progress with Project Neptune over the next year, our plan to build a new food processing facility on the ABP land on Fleetwood Dock.
“I’d like to thank all of our staff, volunteers, communities and local businesses for their support in driving down infection rates in Wyre to the point where our district now has the lowest in Lancashire. We remain committed to providing vital services going forward as our communities and businesses recover. Together we have made a real difference and we can look forward to a brighter future.”