Fylde Councillors met on Tuesday 5th March 2019 to set the 2019/20 budget, approving an overall Council Tax increase of 2.48% and several budget growth items.
The Council Tax increase results in an overall Band D charge for the year of £206.60, equating to an increase of less than 10 pence per week for a Band D property which will help to safeguard services.
The capital growth items that have been approved will enhance the local environment for residents and visitors and include:
• Three-year scheme of public realm improvements to Lytham
• St Annes public realm regeneration scheme (Pier to the Square)
• New toilet facilities at North Beach car park
• New play equipment at Ashton Gardens and improved nursery facilities
• Support for tree-planting across the borough
• New coastal signs to promote tourism
• Support for Arts Council Project ‘Coastal Explorers’ at Fairhaven Lake
In addition to the capital growth items there were two further revenue budget proposals approved for 2019/20:
• Ongoing support for Community Projects
• Additional resources to support tourism and community events to include securing the popular St Annes International Kite Festival
All of these will contribute to ensuring Fylde is a vibrant and thriving place to live and visit and this will be achievable through the modest additional sum residents are asked to pay on their Council Tax bill.
Councillor Sue Fazackerley MBE, Fylde Council leader, said: ‘this is a budget of which we can be justly proud and demonstrates Fylde Council’s continuing commitment and ability to keep the Council Tax rise as low as possible – lower than the majority of other Lancashire authorities – whilst continuing to maintain our core services to a high standard. The proposed capital growth items are impressive and will, I’m sure, be welcomed by our residents, as will the continuation of the Community Projects fund, which provides vital grants to local organisations to help them in the vital contribution they make to our communal life. The additional support for our expanding events and tourism offer, which is much appreciated by our residents and visitors alike, also boosts the local economy by attracting visitors to our beautiful Borough."
Councillor Karen Buckley, Chair of the Finance and Democracy Committee said: “Fylde Borough’s council tax increase of 2.48% compares favourably with the national average rise of 4.5%. The council is on a sound financial footing because of the diligent approach taken towards spending and the regular scrutiny of budgets. Although funding from Government has decreased, the amount we receive in Business Rates income is rising and is testament to the health of our local economy. We have taken the decision to pool with other Lancashire Districts and enter a pilot for business rates that could result in more revenue for our local area. The programme for capital investment has grown which means more facilities for local residents and visitors, and regeneration for our High Street."