Council has reduced costs

Lancaster Town Hall
Lancaster Town Hall
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In reply to Coun Sowden’s letter (Cut waste to save money, February 27), the city council is not “wasting millions”.

On the contrary, the council has done a good job in reducing its costs in the light of big cuts in the government grant of £1.7m in both 2014/15 and for 2015/16.

From a total city council budget of £18.5m, this is lot of money to save.

However, the measures we have taken have meant that we have made no cuts to the voluntary and arts sectors, have kept council tax discounts for people on very low incomes and have not resulted in major cuts to services such as cleansing, parks and swimming pools.

Whilst much progress has been made in recent years, there are still ways that the city council can increase its income.

For example, the installation of solar panels on council properties will bring in around £55k this year – which we can use to support council services.

We are currently looking at further initiatives to greatly increase this amount.

I do agree with Coun Sowden, however, that the privately-run multi-storey car park on the site of the proposed Canal Corridor development will greatly reduce council income from its other car parks.

The city council tax rise has been set this year at 1.99 per cent.

This is around 8p per week for a band D household. There is a difficult balance between keeping council services and not putting unbearable strain on citizens – and we treat these decision very seriously. Two years ago the Green group supported a council tax freeze.

This year our judgement was that the small cost per household was worth it for the retention of services and staff.

Coun Jon Barry

Willow Lane