Lancashire County Council to raise council tax by maximum permitted amount

Lancashire County Council will raise council tax by the maximum permitted amount of almost 5%.

Councillors voted to accept a budget which will see around £1.9billion spent on services over the next financial year, with a total increase in bills of 4.99%.

That’s made up by a 2.99% increase in general council tax and a further 2% to be used for adult social care.

Members were told there had been a number of significant challenges which had made last year the hardest many local authorities had faced in terms of setting budgets.

Councils had continued to see rising demand for services post covid, while also dealing with significant changes to the rate of inflation as well as national challenges such as increased costs in areas such as Home to School Transport.

Members were told the county council had coped well with these issues, and had a track record of success meeting these types of challenge.

In total, the council  is expected to spend £1,893.934m of revenue expenditure over the coming year, whilst generating £781.324m of income.

The rest of the funding will come from a number of funding sources including government grants and council tax, with £0.856m coming from the transitional reserve.

The council has identified a further £37m of new savings that will be required over 2024/25 - 2026/27. In total there are savings of £98m to be delivered over the next 3 years.

Cllr Alan Vincent, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council and cabinet member for Resources, HR and Property, said: "The county council continues to be in a relatively good position compared to many councils across the country, but we are always mindful of the need to ensure we are able to balance the books while providing the best services possible.

"All local authorities continue to face considerable financial challenge and uncertainty, which means some difficult decisions are necessary.

"Some of our Lancashire District colleagues have also seen their collection rates fall, which is obviously causing concern to both them and us.

"Two have asked for advice or help on improving their collection rates, as most people do pay and it’s unfair that others don’t.

"It also leaves a hole in our budget, this year £7million which we could use to fill holes in our residents roads!

"A County Council Network survey in January found 40 per cent of its County and Unitary Councils could not put forward a balanced budget next year, rising to 70% in 25/26.

"I am pleased to say we can set a balanced budget, and have done today, and remain extremely positive about our financial position for the future.

"I have no intention of getting into the financial mess that many others find themselves in, too often through financial mismanagement."

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