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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Barrow Borough Council to take bigger share of tax

BARROW residents can expect a 1.9 per cent hike in the proportion of their council tax paid to the borough council after councillors voted through their 2013-14 budget last night.

50045017B000
DRAMA A man was flown to hospital in Blackpool yesterday after a North West Air Ambulance helicopter landed in Barrow Park. It had been dispatched from its base in Preston after receiving a report than a man was suffering cardiac problems and needed emergency transport. Two air ambulance staff then made their way to the Norwood Medical Centre in Abbey Road. A ground ambulance also attended the scene and moved the man from the centre to the helicopter and the patient was flown to the specialist cardiac centre at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital JON GRANGER REF: 50045017B000

The increase is the maximum an authority can levy without triggering a referendum and comes after the council declined a government grant to freeze tax levels.

The council has budgeted for an overall reduction in spending from its general fund of 15 per cent from £13,163,698 in 2012-13 to £11,168,690 in 2013-14.

Among the expected savings are a 4.6 per cent reduction in staff wages, a 23 per cent drop in supplies and services and a 25.6 per cent decline in transport costs.

But the budget will see the cost of a number of council services rising when the new financial year begins in April.

Car parking charges will rise by 10p to £1.30 and £2.30 for one and two-hour stays respectively, and monthly staff parking permits will increase by £2.

The cost of many activities at The Park Leisure Centre – including swimming, fitness classes and children’s play sessions – will all rise by 10p.

Conservative opposition councillors put forward their own budget based on accepting the government’s grant to freeze council tax, but the proposal was rejected.

Under the opposition’s plans, a government grant to freeze council tax would be accepted and the cost of services would also be frozen.

The alternative budget would have seen car parking charges frozen as part of the package.

Other suggestions included funding for the Neighbourhood Management Team and Dalton and Askam Rural Projects’ Support Officer being retained and funding for dog fouling bags increased to £5,000.

A further £20,000 would have been promised to the Dock Museum to allow it to extend its opening hours.

l For full budget debate coverage, see tomorrow’s edition of the Evening Mail.

Have your say

Why are they allowed to reject government money in favour of raising council tax by 1.9% just under the referendum threshold (democracy dodging) and increase other charges when the alternative budget sounds like the better deal for residents and council tax payers. Is it because the alternative threatens there inflated salaries and pensions in favour of spending the money on services the one thing the council is supposed to provide!

Posted by Rubbish on 28 February 2013 at 12:08

Any guesses what level the governments refereundum trigger on council tax rises is bearing in mind the trigger is set by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition and Barrow Borough Council is run by a Labour majority...?

2%

Posted by Tony on 27 February 2013 at 19:16

View all 3 comments on this article

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