Labour Chorley Council 2023-24 Budget Statement

1 Mar 2023 | Economy

Labour Chorley Council 2023-24 Budget Sets Second Lowest Council Tax Rate in Lancashire

Labour run Chorley Council continues to deliver great ‘Value For Money’ for residents with its 2023-24 Budget plans, which will see it continue to maintain the second lowest Council Tax Rate in Lancashire despite the financial chaos inflicted on our Borough by the Conservative party in London and the cost of living crisis that has followed the chaotic Liz Truss period as Prime Minister.

Please see below the comparable rates of District Council portion of Council Tax for a Band D property across Lancashire:

DistrictBand D Equivalent 2022/23 £
South Ribble223.24
West Lancs218.39
Ribble Valley160.69

This year as a result of our efficiency savings and external income generation, it is only necessary for us to propose a 1.99% increase in Council Tax – around 7p a week for a Band D property. The Government wish us to raise it by much more than this so they can give less money to Chorley.

Other Councils elsewhere are also raising their % by far more, unfortunately along with other preceptors in Lancashire who make up the full Council Tax bill.

 See the breakdown below:

  • Labour run Chorley Council – 1.99%
  • Tory run Lancashire County Council – 3.99%
  • Lancashire Police (Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner) – 6.34%
  • Lancashire Fire Service – 6.47%

The full budget for the next financial year was approved by Chorley Council at the meeting held on the 28th February 2023, although Tory councillors voted against the low-cost/great-value plans, exposing their own inability to supply any vision or fiscal competence locally.

In a desperate attempt to try and deny current inflation rates, the Tories only proposals were to apply a freeze on revenue funding and pay for the shortfall by slashing the Green Agenda and Low Carbon budget that they had previously supported for the Council.

Labour members criticised this short-term policy as a pathetic, half-baked attempt to buy residents votes at the expense of our planet’s future and rightly ridiculed the half-page Tory proposals raised in response to the 140-page Council document supplied.

In comparison to the current Tory malaise, Chorley Labour remains committed to providing value for money, alongside delivering excellent services and providing much-needed support for residents. The Council’s priorities for the coming year remain:

  • Investment in affordable housing and community facilities
  • Providing access to good jobs and excellent education
  • Maintaining thriving Town and Village centres.
  • Supporting local businesses and other organisations.
  • Sustaining a green and environmentally diverse borough, where residents can live well, healthy and safely in engaged communities with a strong economy.

Peter Wilson the Labour Finance lead stated,

“We believe that Chorley should not rely on residents to continually pay more and more and also contend that our policy of delivering projects that contribute to our own funding delivers for everyone.”

Labour Plans include: 

  • Further investment in affordable homes and adaptation grants, with measures to improve home energy efficiency and to investigate flexible housing solutions to meet the needs of all communities. 
  • Delivering support and energy improvement measures for businesses 
  • Delivering environmental improvements such as electric vehicle charging points and being proactive in cleaning up neighbourhoods, in addition to planting more trees across the borough as ‘green corridors’
  • Additional investment and improvement to Astley Hall
  • Improvements to rural business connectivity
  • The launch of a skills and jobs programme for residents
  • Support for families and young people to access services that can give them the best start in life.

Peter Wilson continued to say, “The balanced budget, which allows us to continue to deliver excellent services and key investments has been approved following a consultation period with residents.”

“Individuals, families and businesses across Chorley have faced the impact of Covid-19 and ongoing challenges of the cost-of-living crisis, and it is vital for us to respond to these challenges by making sure that the right services and support measures are in place to help protect the borough.”

“While our portion of Council Tax rises by 1.99%, this is less than what the Government expect local councils to do. Because we have worked in a way to save money and to generate income, we have not needed to rise higher than what we thought was necessary to deliver our budget and to continue excellent services for our residents.”

“Of course, we will also continue to support those most vulnerable and in need of additional council tax support through our council tax support scheme.”

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