2% rise in Burnley council tax bills?

Cash notes 20s
Cash notes 20s
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Town hall chiefs hope to have secured a £1.8m. Government grant to soften the blow of “severe” budget cuts.

Burnley Council is still facing some of the highest levels of cutbacks in the whole country for 2014-15.

But council bosses hope the Efficiency Support Grant (ESG) cash, announced provisionally in the financial settlement, will be confirmed by Westminster in the New Year.

Councillors have now agreed budget proposals for next year which could see council tax rise by 2%.

The plan was passed at full council as funding cuts of £1.75m. have to be made between 2014 and 2015.

The council says the overall budget for next year is likely to be set at the current levels although bosses are still awaiting confirmation of specific funding for a number of services.

Bosses believe the situation for 2015-16 is not as bleak as first thought with the Government hinting ESG cash could continue.

Council chief executive Steve Rumbelow, who lobbied for the continuation of ESG cash with Council Leader Julie Cooper in London, said despite Burnley facing “unfair” levels of cuts he believed the Government was listening to some things.

“The lobbying we’ve done with ministers has paid off. All we ever asked for was a level playing field and for the Government to treat Burnley fairly.

“We’re not there yet. The fact that ESG is continuing is positive news but we can’t take anything for granted. We will have to make further reductions and present a strong case to the Government for further funding but I am confident we can and will fight our corner.”

He added that the council still faces major challenges to find savings and make further efficiencies.