On Tuesday night at a special Finance and Democracy meeting held using online technology members at Fylde approved the 2019/20 financial out turn. Services at the council were delivered within budget with additional income and efficiency savings resulting in over £900,000 surplus being added to the capital reserve for future investment in the borough.
Since 2008 when the council was in a difficult financial position, officers have year on year managed efficiencies into service delivery. Additional income streams have also been explored to generate funding for capital schemes and investment in improving services, all whilst strengthening the financial resilience of the council. Every function has been reviewed to introduce improvements through technology coupled with a culture based on meeting customer demand. Any additional funds generated have been used to finance projects across the borough from the recently completed coast defence scheme at Lytham, Granny’s Bay and Fairhaven, to public realm projects in town centres and play area improvements in rural locations.
Leader of the Council, Karen Buckley said:
“The services and finances of the council have been managed successfully once again in the last year, delivering within budget and achieving a surplus to reinvest in the future of the borough. Most recently, we have funded the resurfacing of the driveway to Lytham Hall and have stepped in to support our swimming pools at St Annes and Kirkham run by the YMCA to help get them through the pandemic. Economic recovery following COVID 19 is our priority with a particular focus on our town centres. Grants to the business partnerships in Kirkham, Lytham and St Annes have already been made and larger, more ambitious schemes will be worked up following a tremendous public response to the Town Centre Survey.”
During last year the Council was able to repay its only external borrowing and become debt-free for the first time in a number of years. The council also saw income from business rates increase because of the strength of the local economy. The recent COVID 19 lockdown however has set back a lot of local businesses. In response, the council has made it a priority to support the recovery of the local economy. Funds transferred to the capital reserve will contribute towards initiatives to provide that support.