An extra £17million is to be spent on roads, flood defences and walking and cycling schemes by Lancashire County Council after the authority set its’ budget for the coming financial year.
The council will also invest £400,000 in youth workers, increase the money it spends on library materials by £500,000 and spend £496,000 on its’ Environment and Climate Change programme.
A further £50,000 will also be spent on developing web pages for the county council’s museums so they are more interactive for visitors.
The council will also only increase Council Tax by 3.99 per cent, rather than the expected 4.99 per cent, to lessen the financial impact on the tax payer. Two per cent of this rise is ring-fenced to be spent on adult social care.
County Councillor Geoff Driver CBE, Leader of the County Council, said:
“Four years ago we faced a deficit of £200m and expected to have to rely heavily on reserves.
“However thanks to the careful management of the council’s finances over recent years we are in a much improved position and have done a lot of work to help balance the books.
“Despite the uncertainty of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic the council’s finances do have a generally positive outlook, although planned savings over coming years will still be needed.
“Our careful planning has meant that this coming financial year we do not need to increase Council Tax by the expected amount, helping to reduce some of the burden on the tax payer.
“We will also be able to spend an extra £10million on the county’s road network, as well as an additional £5million on flood defences.
“A further £2million will be spent on walking and cycle schemes, which given how people’s lifestyles have changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is very timely and also good for the environment.
“The County Council will also be investing a significant amount in a new approach to environment and climate matters, including carbon reduction, tree planting, peatland restoration and improvement to air quality management.
“I’m particularly pleased to announce that there will be a significant investment in youth workers of £400,000 to help the county’s young people, as well as an increased investment in the book fund for libraries.
“Finally improvements to web pages for our museums will enable them to showcase some of the amazing history we preserve for the people of Lancashire.
“This budget has shown we are now on a solid and sustainable financial base, and have the opportunity to invest in important council services for the benefit of residents.
“It also means we will continue to ensure that the most vulnerable are able to receive our support when they need it.”