Wyre Council to freeze council tax again

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Wyre Council has announced it is freezing council tax for the fifth year running – without any cuts to frontline services.

The borough’s tax payers, including Fleetwood residents, will continue to pay the same rate as they did back in 2010/11 - 49p per day for a band D property, less than the cost of a second class stamp.

Council tax is made up of a number of payments to the authorities that provide services in the area – in addition to Wyre Council, Lancashire County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Combined Fire Authority, as well as parish and town councils, make charges.

The news comes despite the fact Wyre’s government funding has been cut by 16 per cent, amounting to £1m, for the 2015/16 financial year.

Wyre says that over the five years up to and including 2015/16 it has lost £4.8m in funding due to the cutbacks.

Looking ahead to next year, a Wyre Council spokeswoman said: “Provisional grant funding for 2016/17 has not yet been announced, however we estimate a further 14 per cent cut from £5.6m to £4.8m, a reduction of another £0.8m.

“In terms of what it means for residents, the reduction in grant funding has not impacted on the frontline services we offer, which we’ve been steadfast in protecting and improving.”

Recent results from the biennial survey Life In Wyre showed that 82 per cent of people are happy with where they live and satisfaction rates with council services remain high despite the severity of the cuts.

However, this figure was lower in Fleetwood, with 67 per cent saying they liked living in the town.

The spokeswoman added: “Wyre is the fastest in Lancashire for processing housing benefit and last year had the lowest employee sickness levels in the county.

“While other councils are cutting services, we’ve expanded services, including our community sports scheme, TrySport.”