Funding cuts could backfire on resort

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Money to be spent on improving Morecambe could be cut by over £50,000 per year.

Morecambe Town Council is gearing up for a possible reduction in its annual council tax funding from £220,500 to £170,000.

But projected figures show the town council is expected to end the current financial year with £118,000 in its bank account.

This includes up to £55,000 put aside for a possible council office in Morecambe town centre.

Morecambe Town Council currently rents an office at the town hall for £2,550 a year but this agreement with the building’s owners Lancaster City Council ends in 2015.

The town is preparing to tighten its belt after Lancaster City Council voted to keep council tax benefit the same despite a reduction in its Government grant.

This means many of the district’s low income households and those who claim benefits still don’t have to pay council tax.

But it will impact on expenditure in Morecambe because council tax funding to parish councils, known as precepts, will be less for the foreseeable future.

The city council will only cover the town council’s shortfall for the first year.

Morecambe Town Council’s spend this year has included funding for a programme of festivals, Police Community Support Officers, grants to local organisations, an arson reduction vehicle and litter picking.

The amount left in the town council’s account at the year end has come down from £208,662 in 2012.

An extraordinary meeting has been called for February 7 where town councillors will hold talks over its 2013/14 budget.