Rossendale Free Press

Scandal is costing more and we don’t know why


THE latest finance report to Rossendale Council makes for grim reading. The council has no choice but to put its share of council tax up by 2% - the maximum a borough council can without triggering a referendum to settle the matter - to avoid significan­t cost cuts.

Some issues are beyond its control, of course.

The finance report shows that Rossendale’s Leisure Trust has been hit hard by the pandemic and that has a knock-on effect for the council.

The report says the council and the trust are working to ‘restrict the losses wherever possible.’

A new gym opening up as competitio­n in Rawtenstal­l Town Centre presumably won’t help either.

But other issues aren’t beyond its control.

The Empty Homes Scandal makes an appearance, with warnings that the scheme - £7m and counting for the council - is continuing to be a drain on resources.

Yet the detail on what’s going on with the Empty Homes Scandal is thin on the ground.

No exact costs and a sense of defeat perimiates the update from council officers - it’s costing more money and it’s going to keep costing more money.

At what point does a councillor, and it only needs one, stand up and be counted on behalf of taxpayers and demand a proper investigat­ion not into what went wrong, but why it keeps getting worse?

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