BwD Council’s budget for 2023/2024 approved

Published Wednesday 1 March 2023 at 17:06

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s budget for 2023/2024 has been approved.

This year the budget is about implementing more of the achievements that have been gained so far and how the Council can ensure hard-working residents can live a better life.

The hallmark of the budget is about ‘walking the walk’ and ‘not talking the talk’ where leaders will ensure that ‘nobody is left behind’ taking the movement to deliver the new Corporate Plan which was approved at Policy Council in December.

The aim of the Corporate Plan is to focus on four core missions – to have a more prosperous Borough where no one is left behind, that every child and young person will have the opportunities to fulfil their potential, to deliver our Climate Emergency Action Plan and to build happier, healthier and safer communities.

And with a £1.2 million services investment the Council’s commitment to ‘change people’s lives for the better’ means libraries will be able to retain their longer opening hours, have access to free leisure activities which will change to focus on children, improved road markings and signage work will continue to improve safety and help deter anti-social behaviour, and the impressive community response to tackling the climate change crisis will be further developed.

Although the rise in council tax means residents will see a 4.99% increase – Blackburn with Darwen has the third lowest council tax in the area according to local authority figures and we are specifically including the 2% increase to provide much-needed funding for Adult Social Care.

This means the majority of residents – those living in a Band A property – will pay £1.09 extra a week for vital services next year. This rise comes to support local services following a lack of funding from The Government over the past 13 years.

Executive Member for Finance & Governance, Vicky McGurk, said:

The rise in council tax was a reluctant decision but we all know that we have some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and we must do all we can to make sure we provide the services they need to live fulfilling lives.

For example, to protect our services for adults, we are also proposing to increase the Adult Social Care Precept by 2%. This will support the aftermath of the pandemic and continue to support residents that have been hit the hardest by it.

This means residents will be supported by this social care rise and as The Council recognises residents deserve to live a better life, for example, with: better wages if they’re working; better support if they can’t; better transport if they’re travelling; better environments if they’re not; better homes that are affordable to live in and better help if they’re homeless.

Vicky McGurk, added:

This Council is recognised for the strength of its partnership working, locally, sub-regionally and nationally. We remain committed to working closely with our many partners across all sectors to ensure that we get the best for Blackburn with Darwen whether that is, for example, to create economic growth, regenerate our Towns, reduce health inequalities or just make the place safer, cleaner and greener. The hallmark of this budget is walking the walk and not talking the talk.

As the budget was approved, Blackburn with Darwen Council Leader, Phil Riley, said:

It is vital that we continue to grow our economy to make Blackburn and Darwen a better place to live. As the Leader of the Council it is my priority to make sure that nobody is left behind and working with residents, local businesses, vital services we will ensure that funds are allocated to give everyone a better quality of life.

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