Ribble Valley’s Share of Council Tax to Remain Lowest in Lancashire

Published: 12th March 2024

Stephen Atkinson at the top of Clitheroe Castle
PUNCHING WAY ABOVE OUR WEIGHT – Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson.

Council tax in Ribble Valley is to remain the lowest in Lancashire and one of the lowest in the UK despite an ambitious £13million capital programme.

Furthermore, Ribble Valley Borough Council will remain the only authority in Lancashire to collect refuse weekly and not charge for green waste.

A meeting of the full council gave the go-ahead for Ribble Valley’s share of the council tax to increase by just three per cent – that’s £5 on a Band D property – the lowest in Lancashire and one of the lowest in the country.

The meeting also gave enthusiastic support to an ambitious £13million five-year capital programme featuring improvements to council-owned play areas, public toilets and car parks, along with £1million for projects marking the council’s 50th anniversary and a hefty £500,000 for improvements to Clitheroe Castle and its grounds.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson said: “The fact is, we are punching way above our weight and delivering first-rate services with the lowest council tax in Lancashire.

“We are proud to have no debt, significant reserves and record capital investments.

“We have launched an ambitious capital programme featuring a raft of schemes and are still the only authority in Lancashire to collect refuse weekly and not charge for green waste.

“We strongly believe that councils have a responsibility to safeguard public money and use it responsibly, which we pride ourselves on doing.

“In 2011, we restructured the authority to make significant savings and put us on a strong footing to face the future.

“We have never invested in large-scale commercial ventures, nor exposed the authority to significant debt arising from spiraling interest rates, and last year decided to settle a small amount of outstanding debt, meaning we are now debt-free.”

Official figures have revealed that council tax collection in Ribble Valley is the best of any district authority in the North West and third in England.

It is also the third fastest district authority in Lancashire for processing new housing benefit claims and has the most generous council tax support scheme in the county.

Ribble Valley is also the fifth healthiest borough in the UK and the safest in the North West, according to recent ONS figures, and has been at the forefront of several national initiatives, most notably the resurgence in local food.

Stephen Atkinson continued: “These are significant achievements built on many years of careful financial management, as well as the skill and dedication of staff across the authority, who know their jobs inside out and deliver top-rate services, while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.

“I am grateful to councillors and staff for their dedication and commitment in continuing to deliver efficient, effective services to national standards, while achieving good public satisfaction ratings.

“And I am delighted that we have been able to set a budget for next year without any reductions in the services we provide, while being one of the few debt-free councils in the country, with no external borrowing.” Council tax bills also include precepts from Lancashire County Council, the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and parishes. Full details are available at ribblevalley.gov.uk.