Posted by: westlancashirerecord | February 28, 2017

WLBC Councillors’ Allowances Frozen For Three Years

West Lancashire Borough Council wlbcsmall has set its budget for 2017/18 in the face of continuing cuts to council funding by the Conservative Government. At the full meeting of the Council on Wednesday night, the Labour Administration set a budget that was mindful of the cuts that are still to come during this parliament but which aims to bring about improved access to services and a fairer deal for residents.

Among the proposals agreed were:

• Freezing car parking charges in Ormskirk and retaining free parking in Skelmersdale and Burscough
Increasing CCTV maintenance budget by £15,000 to ensure residents’ safety and a further £75,000 for replacement cameras
• Plans for new Wet & Dry sports facilities in Skelmersdale and Ormskirk in addition to recent investment in the steam room at Park Pool by the Labour Council
• Funding for ‘Swim for a Pound’ and Aqua Fun inflatables at Park Pool and Nye Bevan
Freezing councillors’ allowances for 3 years
• £35,000 allocated to Moor Street Improvement Works between Moorgate and Railway Road
Investing in Micro Drainage Computer Design Software to tackle flooding across the Borough

The Government’s funding cuts have meant that councils are having to generate more revenue to cover the cost of services and West Lancashire is suffering twice as many of the services provided by Lancashire County Council are also being cut or passed to the Borough Council to deliver. Despite this, West Lancashire will still be in the lower half of councils for increases in council tax.

During the last two years, the Labour Administration has introduced a number of innovative measures to encourage economic growth in the region and to generate more revenue for the council. These include the purchase of Wheatsheaf Walk and solar panels on council properties, both of which give a significant return on investment.

Councillor Chris Wynn wynne, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said “Since 2010 we have lost £5m in funding from central government and over the next two years we will lose a further £2m. This has meant that we are having to make some very difficult decisions to ensure that residents across West Lancs are still able to access services.

“In making these tough decisions, we are proud to have not forced any edundancies, whilst under a Conservative budget they made cuts to 53 staff in one fell swoop. We have to be mindful of the cuts still to come as it would be entirely reckless to set a budget for services that could not be sustained or which would use up any reserves and leave us in a worse financial situation in the coming years.

“Despite this, we have managed to make a number of significant changes to how we deliver services and we will continue to be ambitious and innovative in how we can generate growth and protect services for residents. Had we followed the Conservatives’ alternative proposals during the last two years, we would be facing an even larger budget gap and no plans for sustained growth across the borough, as they look to drive our council into bankruptcy.”


Responses

  1. “We are proud to have not forced any redundancies”. How many were there?

    • Good question! Were there any at all, and if there were they would be unforced, at what cost to council tax payers?


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