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Lancs County Council: 2021 Budget Debate

February 25, 2021 7:22 AM
By John Wright

Lancashire County HallLabour and Tories refuse to back Lib Dem budget proposals at County Hall

In the recent budget debate at Lancashire County Council, Labour and the Tories refused to back Liberal Democrat budget proposals that would have brought big investment in road repairs and environmental schemes, cut councillors' allowances and expenses, and capped the council tax rise at 1.99%.

See the statement from LCC Lib Dem leader Cllr David Whipp below.

Over £16.5 million extra would be invested in road resurfacing and highway drainage if the group's plans were accepted and the proposed increase in council tax would be cut by 3%, with a decision on whether a levy to cover social care costs being left until after the pandemic has passed.

The group would also invest £3 million in renewable energy schemes, restore seven-day opening of recycling centres, fund street lighting safety schemes, support planting millions of trees in the county and create wildflower verges.

Allowances and travel expenses would be cut to help pay for improvements together with a reduction in the use of consultants and agency workers and continued use of remote meetings to reduce costs.

With residents reeling from the impact of the pandemic, this is not the time for huge council tax increases. If the government are being honest about their levelling up agenda, such increases may not be needed in less affluent places like Lancashire. We need to wait and see until the pandemic has passed.

At the same time, we cannot continue to allow our roads to rot. There's an urgent need for a massive boost in resurfacing and investment to deal with a backlog of highway drainage problems. It is penny-wise, pound-foolish to allow roads and pavements to fall to bits.

Developing green technologies is key for our future in many ways and our proposals include a multi-million pound investment in renewables. We also want to support planting millions of trees in the county to help mitigate the climate emergency.