Chorley Council has proposed to freeze its portion of the council tax bill despite a 13.5 per cent cut to its grant.

The council a significant area where the “budget gap” has been closed is a “guaranteed” minimum £400,000 surplus from the Market Walk shopping centre, which the council bought in November.

The cut in grant equates to £79,00 for 2014/15 with a further 15.6 per cent (£874,000) expected in 2015/16.

Within the upcoming financial year, the remainder of the budget shortfall will be achieved by restructures and reviewing existing budgets to see what savings can be made.

The proposals include £1M in “areas of investment” which include an expanded foodbank, supporting Chorley’s Britain in Bloom bid and investment in luncheon clubs for older people and replacing 150 rubbish bins.

Deputy leader, councillor Peter Wilson, said: “The reduction in funding from the Government means that over the next two years would be the equivalent of a council tax increase of 15 per cent this year followed by a 13 per cent increase the year after.

“We don’t plan to pass on that increase this year but with the huge cuts we are facing we will be left with a huge bill in future.

“Despite these pressures we have been able to make enough savings and can look at investing in services that matter to residents.”