Council tax freeze proposed but services continue to be cut

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Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet is recommending a council tax freeze – but cutbacks to vital services are set to continue.

The Conservative-run council has made huge cuts in terms of services in the last year with around 1,500 job losses.

And this year, the cutbacks look set to continue, particularly around social care and children and young people’s services.

Burnley borough Coun. Roger Frost said the cuts were directly affecting people’s lives.

He said: “It is all well and good having a council tax freeze, but in the last few years the county council has severely cut a number of services in Burnley.

“Several libraries and care homes have been cut in the town, which has also led to job losses. These are life-saving and life-enhancing services that people cannot do without.”

The county council accounts for the largest proportion of council tax bills as it is responsible for around 80% of local government spending, overseeing major services like schools, road maintenance and social care

The proposed freeze will be put to a meeting of the full council for a decision on Thursday, February 21st when the county council’s budget for 2013-14 will also be set.

Geoff Driver, leader of the county council, said: “It continues to be a very tough period for the economy and we have made provision to freeze council tax again this year to avoid putting household budgets under any extra pressure.

“The reductions in council funding from government led us to set a three-year budget back in February 2011 and, because we put a clear plan in place right through until March 2014, we have been able to plan for another freeze while protecting front line services.

“Over the course of the three years we’ll have spent over £200m less on management and administration alone, as we seek to minimise the impact of any savings on front line services.”