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Friday, February 26, 2016

Exciting schemes planned for housing

West Lancashire Borough Council is planning more exciting schemes to improve its housing for the benefit of tenants over the next 12 months.

The schemes were approved at the Council meeting on 24 February 2016, when members met to agree the Housing Revenue Account budget for the 2016/17 financial year.

The Council’s Housing Account is made up from money raised through rents and service charges to provide services for Council tenants and leaseholders.

Decisions made by the government mean that the rents for most tenants will reduce by 1% each year for the next four years. Those in supported accommodation will see a small increase of 0.9% as these households still have the requirement to move towards target rents.  The impact of these decisions will mean that £1.4M will need to be saved in 2016/17 and a further £10M between 2017-2020.

The Council has worked hard to minimise the impact of this savings requirement and has agreed a budget that protects services and will see the investment of £12.6M next year. This includes:

  • Completion of the Firbeck Revival project
  • Start of the Beechtrees Revival project
  • 550 new kitchens installed
  • 900 new bathrooms installed £1.6M invested in improved heating arrangements
  • Replacement doors and windows installed
  • Investment in communal areas of flats
  • Improvement to sheltered housing

This is the latest programme of works for Council housing and continues the wide range of improvement schemes that have been carried out in recent years.

A full review of the budget is underway and tenants will be consulted during the summer on proposals to tighten the belt and find ways to reduce expenditure or raise funds over the next three years.

Councillor Jenny Patterson, portfolio holder for Housing, said: “The Council is facing some challenges in terms of housing funding over the next 3 years and I am therefore delighted we are able to announce these exciting schemes which will benefit tenants for many years to come. I am confident that we will continue to provide first class services now and in the future.”

The Council has prudently managed the Housing account and because of this, has been able to maintain services in 2016/17 and deliver real positive impacts for tenants.

For more information on the Council’s Housing Services please visit housing.

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