Pay freeze for third year running for Burnley Council workers?

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COUNCIL workers in Burnley look set to have their pay frozen for the third year running to reduce the impact of staffing costs on the town hall purse.

Under recommendations drawn up by Burnley Council’s Executive, there will be no provision for a pay award for the next financial year.

According to the proposals, council bosses said staffing will cost the authority an extra £151,000 next year, significantly less than if they awarded a pay increase.

Liberal Democrat councillors are also proposing £245,000 of further savings, in addition to the £669,000 of cuts approved by the full council in December to balance the budget.

The majority of additional savings – £46,000 – would be generated through management restructure at the council, with £30,000 saved on insurance, £25,000 on telephone services, £18,000 from the bus station, £24,000 from a collection fund surplus, £25,000 from planning fee income, £30,000 from utilities, £27,000 in interest from sums deposited and £20,000 from licensing flexible retirement proposal.

The recommendations were put forward at a meeting of the Executive on Monday but a final decision will be made by the full council next Thursday.

Under the proposals, council tax will be frozen for 2012/2013 but could see an increase thereafter.

The council also looks set to cut the money spent on delivering council services by almost £1m. from £15,731,154 this year to £14,696,330 – almost £4m. less than the figure in 2010/2011.

Also highlighted in the report is that over the next year council bosses expect to lose up to £80,000 in income due to difficult trading conditions and a loss of £90,000 in rent due to the primary care trust vacating Padiham Town Hall.

Projects to be carried out over the next four years under the council’s capital programme such as the regeneration of the Weavers’ Triangle, investment in Burnley open market, the Todmorden Curve rail link, highways improvements and improvements to Burnley town centre will continue as planned. More than £3m. has been set aside for the schemes in 2012/2013 with almost £9m. planned to continue the work in 2013/2014.

Under changes to fees and charges already approved by the full council in December, allotment holders in Burnley will experience a 10% increase in fees in 2012/2013, while users of the fitness and health suites at the St Peter’s Centre and Padiham Leisure Centre will see a 3% rise in cost of some services.

Tours of Towneley Hall will increase by 3% while any photography firm, not from Burnley, wanting to use the Hall for commercial photography will have to pay 150% more in 2012/2013.