Eric Pickles praises Ribble Valley Borough Council

Eric Pickles. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Eric Pickles. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Ribble Valley Borough Council has announced a council tax freeze without cuts in jobs or services for the sixth year running – and been praised in Parliament for its efficiency.

The council has frozen its 2015/16 council tax without the need for compulsory redundancies or service cuts, despite a 14% reduction in Government grants. Support for charities and voluntary organisations will also be maintained.

And Secretary of State Eric Pickles MP has described the thrifty council as the “apple of my eye” during a Parliamentary debate.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s share of the council tax on a Band D property will remain at £140.69 – the lowest in Lancashire and one of the lowest in the country – following this week’s meeting of the council’s policy and finance committee.

Council leader Stuart Hirst praised the dedication and hard work of council staff and councillors for delivering efficient and cost-effective services in difficult times.

He said: “I am delighted Ribble Valley’s share of the council tax is to be frozen and core services protected for the sixth successive year. This has been achieved despite a reduction in core Government funding of 14%, a total of 40% since 2010.

“Ribble Valley has the lowest council tax in Lancashire and one of the lowest in the country, which is a significant achievement built on many years of careful financial planning. I am grateful to councillors and staff for their dedication and commitment in continuing to deliver efficient and cost-effective services, while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. I am particularly delighted our sterling efforts have been praised in Parliament.”

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans told the House of Commons Ribble Valley Borough Council had frozen its council tax without reducing services and asked Eric Pickles to congratulate the council for doing so.

The Secretary of State responded: “I congratulate Ribble Valley Borough Council, which is clearly the apple of my eye.

“I know it to be a very efficient authority and income levels in the borough are better, as councillors are dedicated to keeping council tax down.”

Council tax bills include precepts from Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and local parishes. Full details are available at www.ribblevalley.gov.uk