Pendle Council’s Executive is to consider a report on transferring some services to town and parish councils at its meeting on Thursday October 23.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Joe Cooney, explained: “Town and parish councils are already taking on more responsibilities in their areas, for example, events and festive decorations.
“There is scope for them to take on more and some have a real appetite for this.
“Transfers of community centres and public toilets to a number of town and parish councils are already well underway.
“It’s time to put this on a firmer footing by working on a programme of possible future transfers over the next two years, helping to avoid increasing Pendle’s Council Tax.”
Services and facilities which will be discussed for possible transfer in the near future are:
- play areas and multi-use games areas (MUGAs)
- bus shelters
- town centre CCTV.
Services and facilities for possible later transfer are:
- Discover Pendle Centre, picnic sites, Colne Council Shop and
- Fence Village Hall
- indoor and outdoor markets
- car parks
- town centre sweeping.
A meeting was held with representatives of the town and parish councils last month (September) to discuss this and a further meeting is taking place on November 24th.
The approach to discuss possible transfers has the backing of all political parties on the Council and councillors will discuss these issues at the meeting.
Councillor Tony Greaves, Deputy Leader of the Council and Liberal Democrat Group Leader, explained: “The government is forcing Pendle Council to cut its spending by half and there is no way that it can continue to pay for everything it does now.
“Passing some services to town and parish councils means they can be looked after more locally and helps us make savings.
“It will also help to keep things going in the future if councils like Pendle are joined up under much larger unitary authorities based in places many miles away.”
Councillor Iqbal, Leader of the Labour Party at Pendle Council, added: “We’re keen to protect local services and facilities in a climate of continuing cut-backs.
“This approach could make a real difference for Pendle.”
Stephen Barnes, Chief Executive, explained: “Town and parish councils have the ability to raise their precepts to help pay for the services.
“Pendle Council’s scope for increasing the Council Tax to Pendle is severely limited.
“We’re planning ahead to manage this well and hope to get a three year plan underway.”