City Council cabinet – plans to fill the £2.5 million black hole in budget

preston town hall entrance

Preston City Council have agreed to plans to increase council tax by 3.5% in Wednesday’s budget meeting.

Councillors met at the Town Hall to discuss the draft budget proposals and Labour has put forward its plans to start to fill a £2.5m black hole in its budget over the next five years.

The main area agreed upon would see a council tax increase of 3.5% with a new Band D charge of £1268.66.

Councillor Martyn Rawlinson said: “This document goes out to consultation now and cabinet will be looking at the responses from that consultation before full council.”

He added the group had managed to reduce the deficit from more than £2m to around £1m after “last year’s major upheavals in local government and this council receiving one of the worst grant settlements in the country”.

The ruling group’s plans also include a 5% rise in charges at Fulwood and West View leisure centres and cutting bus shelter cleaning from six times a year to twice a year.

The 2012 Guild was mentioned in the meeting and the confirmed budget for this year’s historic Preston Guild celebrations will be set at £2million.

Councillor John Swindells said: “The Guild is set at a high expense but an expense that will be worth it.”

Leader of the Council Peter Rankin has now placed the budget out to the public for comments before it goes before a full meeting of the council on 23rd February.

You can view the budget online via the council website. Residents have until 17th February to comment.

There is also a handy guide from Blog Preston to what the money is being spent on and also what it is being saved on. Plus an analysis on the key words most used in the budget documents.

We’ve also had guest comment pieces from the Liberal Democrats and Labour on the budget proposals. We are still waiting on a comment from the Conservative group.

What do you think about the budget decision? Let us know your views in the comments below and let us know if you’ve spotted anything in the budget figures.

Sign up below to receive Blog Preston's weekly newsletter. It wings its way into your inbox every Sunday with a round-up of our best content from the last week and a look ahead to what's happening in the city.