[Cllr Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of Hyndburn Council]
Prudent management of finances is enabling Hyndburn Borough Council to ride out cost increases caused by global inflationary pressures in new budget proposal
Hyndburn Council are proposing to commit once again to a 0% council tax increase for 2023/4, helping to protect households during these difficult and uncertain times caused by the cost-of-living crisis. Hyndburn has been able to do this due to strong management of finances over the past two decades, with a further six-figure underspend forecast by the end of the financial year.
The budget proposals for 2023/2024 will go to full council for approval, which takes place on Thursday 23 February at 7pm inside the Council Chambers, Accrington Town Hall.
Cllr Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of Hyndburn Council, said:
“This proposed budget for 23/24 illustrates the remarkable position we are in. Not only does it highlight the incoming millions we have secured, in excess of £50 million, it illustrates the success we have found with strong partnership working. Through working collaboratively with business leaders and the MP, combined with strong financial management over decades we have positioned Hyndburn well for the future.
“This future growth and prosperity will transform Hyndburn and perfectly leads us on to celebrations for not only the King’s coronation this year, but Hyndburn’s golden celebrations the following year. In 2024 Hyndburn will be 50 years old and I am pleased to confirm will be starting those celebrations with an unprecedented amount of funding.”
The latest forecast revenue budget spend to the end of the financial year in March 2023 is £12.18m, compared to a budget of £12.33m.
Cllr Joyce Plummer, Portfolio Holder for Resources, said:
“We are delighted to be able to propose to freeze our portion of the council tax bill – a remarkable feat in the current climate. We are acutely aware that times are tough for many of our residents due to inflation and rocketing energy prices.”
Forecast savings on borrowing and leasing costs in the proposed budget have brought in £301,000, added to £200,000 of additional treasury investment income from utilising new investment funds and the rise in interest rates available. These have contributed to a predicted underspend for the year in excess of £0.5m for Non-Service items.
The Parks & Cemetery Service is forecasting an underspend of £114,000, due to additional income and staffing savings. Service expenditure on Leisure is also predicting an underspend of £125,000 through reduced management fees.
The Council is, however, facing a period of inflationary pressure, particularly in relation to energy and fuel costs. The national pay award for local government employees is also yet to be settled.
Cllr Parkinson OBE continued:
“We at Hyndburn continue to strive to keep household bills low thanks to sound management and leadership of the Council. We have delivered for our residents in hard times through Covid, and now are supporting them through the cost of living crisis.”