Council Tax freeze as budget for 2021/22 is approved
South Ribble Borough Council last night (24.02.21) approved the 2021/22 budget which will see a council tax freeze on their portion of residents' council tax bill.
The pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on the council's budgets and income and while Government expects councils to increase Council Tax up to a maximum of 1.99%, South Ribble Borough Council has decided to freeze rates this year.
The freeze on rates is set to have no detrimental impact on council services and still means funding of other vital projects across the borough can continue.
The approved budget also outlines funding for ambitious key projects which will see a raft of improvements to the borough including:
• A new extra care facility with high quality accommodation allowing people to live longer safely at home
• Neighbourhood improvement projects including improvements to play areas and open spaces
• Development of a Credit Union for residents to access safe and ethical banking options
• Support for schools in allowing children to access technology and equipment for remote learning
• Continuation of our Holiday Hunger scheme which provides families with access to food during the school holidays
• Creation of community hubs to provide services and support for local neighbourhoods
• Investment in our leisure centres, taking them in house
• Providing council housing across numerous sites in the borough
• Bringing Worden Hall back into use
• Continued support for communities and businesses through the pandemic and beyond
Full detail of the budget can be found here.
A consultation on the budget took place in February which saw over 100 people share their views.
Supporting businesses to get back on their feet post Covid-19 was considered the highest priority for residents and related to the proposals around extending financial support for businesses beyond the period of government assistance.
Retaining wealth in the borough through job creation and procurement was also a high priority along with positive mental health for young people, neighbourhood working, improvements to community centres and Holiday Hunger reflecting the recent context and concerns as we emerge from the pandemic.
Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Finance said, "I'm so pleased that we were able to bring forward a balanced budget for the borough for 2021/22 which acknowledges challenges and risks, provides funding for ambitious projects which will be of benefit to the borough, while being able to freeze the monetary burden on our residents.
"The council has worked hard to support residents during the pandemic and this budget will allow us to sustain vital services and ensure a strong recovery by investing in neighbourhoods and communities.
"I want to thank all of you who responded to our consultation. We value the views of our residents and will take all of your comments on board."
Full detail of the budget and results of the consultation can be found here.