Council tax increase a difficult decision | Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar

At the Full Council meeting last night, members approved the budget for 2022-23.
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We had to make the very difficult decision of increasing council tax by 1.99% in line with government expectations.

This means that if you are a Band A Council Tax payer your total Council Tax bill will be £1,431 of which the Burnley element is £212.33 (less than 15%).

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If you live in Padiham or one of the surrounding villages, you will have a further precept to pay.

Burnley Council leader Afrasiab AnwarBurnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar
Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar

If you are a Band A Council Tax payer, your Burnley Council Tax bill has gone up by £12 since 2019. In comparison your Lancashire County Council Tax Bill has increased by £111.

No one likes to hear of increased bills, but the current rate of inflation is around 7% and Burnley Council has to buy energy, goods and services like the rest of us so the council’s spending power is decreasing significantly, and savings will have to be made to balance the 22/23 revenue and capital budgets and in subsequent years.

During Covid we have been able to offer some Council Tax relief to those in work but on low pay, there is no guarantee we will be able to do this in future because of the uncertainties over funding.

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We are currently receiving one-year settlements with no indications of future funding.

The council has been waiting since 2017 for the government to produce it’s Fair Funding Review and have no knowledge of current government thinking on funding for local authorities.

Despite the challenges, it was good to see support from other groups for the proposals and we welcomed the friendly amendments brought by the Green group which highlights a willingness to work together to provide the best for our residents.

As ever the Conservative group chose to play political games and complain about everything and anything yet offer no alternatives.

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Strangely declaring that it is not the 'right time' to tackle climate change and referring to it as a 'fantasy item' proving just how out of touch they are.

The past 12 months have been very difficult.

Despite Covid-19 and the ever-increasing challenges of inflation, council officers have continued to keep our services afloat and delivered services within financial and operational constraints, seeking out the very best value for money for our ever-decreasing budget.

Within the Council Chamber the partnership between the two parties at the heart of the administration has ensured stability in decision making and in planning for the future, allowing Burnley Council to punch above its weight and deliver ambitious projects for our residents.

We could not have progressed Pioneer Place, acquired Charter Walk or supported the expansion of Burnley College without that stability in decision making.

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We now look forward to delivering the three elements of our successful Levelling Up bid by continuing to work together.

And together we have maintained financial prudence bringing in both the current revenue and capital budgets in line with projected targets.

We have usable reserves that allow us to plan for future projects and are maintaining very close control of spending.

This administration has ensured strong financial management throughout the past year and will continue to be ambitious but cautious going forward.