Council tax freeze boost for Wyre households

The new Bombardier Flexity 2 models, the most modern tramcars in the world.
The new Bombardier Flexity 2 models, the most modern tramcars in the world.

LANCASHIRE County Council has approved a budget that will freeze council tax, while delivering a one-off £50m investment in local initiatives including the Blackpool and Fleetwood tramway.

The council has also agreed capital investment of £400m over the next three years.

In February 2011, the county council took the unprecedented step of delivering a three-year budget strategy, for 2011-14, to reduce the council’s spending by 25 per cent overall.

The £50m legacy fund has been achieved through investments and savings, and includes £2m which is the latest phase of the county’s total commitment of £15.2m towards the tramway.

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County Coun leader Geoff Driver, said: “Last year we took the bold decision to identify how we would make the required savings over the three years ahead, rather than approving a budget for one year, which would have seen us having to find more savings now.

“The long term approach is paying off and there has been excellent progress. The costs of management and administration have been reduced faster than expected, which has enabled us to reinvest some of those savings back into priority areas.

“We have sought to protect services for the most vulnerable people.”

Spending plans also include a new £10m apprenticeships programme to help young people into work and a £10m investment in measures to promote economic development and job creation.

Fylde and Wyre Councils, and Lancashire Fire Authority, which make up the other elements of council tax bills, are also freezing their charges, but the Lancashire Police Authority has increased its precept by 2.5 per cent.