Council tax set to rise in two Lancashire authorities

Two local authorities in Lancashire are set to increase council tax this year.

Preston City Council is proposing to increase its tax by 3.5% and South Ribble Council by 2.5% for 2012-13.

Preston council leader Peter Rankin said it was not a decision that was taken lightly but was the right one.

He said the cost to taxpayers would be about £9 a year for the average household but would bring in more than £360,000 a year in extra revenue.

A final decision will be made on the proposals at full meetings of both councils later this month.

South Ribble Borough Council's cabinet member with responsibility for finance and resources, councillor Stephen Robinson, said "we are in extremely tough economic times".

He added: "We thought long and hard before deciding to increase our share of council tax to protect our front-line services in the long term. It's our first rise for three years, which represents an extra 7p per week for a Band A householder.

"Our funding from the government has been reduced by more than 29% in the last two years, meaning we are the hardest-hit council in Lancashire in percentage terms.

"A great team effort from our councillors and officers means that, in spite of these challenges, we have over-performed against our significant savings targets for the last four years. Even so, our yearly expenditure still outweighs our income, so we are having to work very hard to balance the books."

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