County council agrees £142m cuts

Preston Town Hall.
Preston Town Hall.

Lancashire County Council has agreed plans to cut £142m from its budget over the next four years.

The final agreement was given at a full council meeting last Thursday, February 20.

The budget identifies £142m of the required £300m savings that the council needs to make by 2018.

Final agreement follows a six-week public consultation, after budget proposals had been considered by the county council’s cabinet at a series of meetings in recent months.

County Coun David Borrow, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Unprecedented central government cuts have meant that we have to reduce county council expenditure by £300m in the next four years.

“We face a colossal financial challenge and have no option but to radically reshape what the council looks like and how it delivers services.

“We are working very hard with our staff to ensure that we can continue to provide vital services for the people of Lancashire, particularly the most vulnerable. We have also been listening to the public and have focused on protecting front-line services while becoming more efficient and improving our back office processes.”

Under the budget, the county council will spend £758.31 million in the financial year 2014/15. The county council’s element of council tax will rise by 1.99%. Lancaster City Council will increase its portion of council tax by around two per cent for 2014/15, and is due to agree a budget for 2014/15 at a meeting today, Wednesday.