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6 The Shuttle APRIL2014NO INCREASE IN COUNCIL TAXMessage from Councillor Andy Kay- Executive member for ResourcesYou will see from your bill for2014/15 that Council Tax chargesfor Blackburn with Darwencouncil are once again... not increasing.Council Tax in our borough remainsone of the lowest in Lancashireeven though we face someof the most severe funding reductionsimposed by central governmentnationally.The decision to freeze CouncilTax levels, rather than ask people topay more to fund services, has beendifficult as demand and expectationsare increasing. The rise in thecost of living is affecting us all andthe Council is determined to try notto further add to these pressureswith an increase this year.We based our decision on thefact that people are already strugglingwith energy prices and increasesin VAT. It wasn’t an easy choicebut people are suffering enough.Cuts agreed last year will continueto be made in all service areasof the Council. These are made followingagreed principles and aftertaking into account where possiblewhat people have told us is importantto them or what is needed themost. Six corporate priorities (seeopposite) have been adopted to focusour policies. These again reflectthe public’s concerns and priorities.Investment plans, which theCouncil has recognised it needs topush ahead with to ensure the boroughhas a strong long term future,include extensive town centre improvementand investment in services,particularly roads, to reducethe costs in the coming years.We know that further massivecuts to our funding are being imposedby central government andonce again the Council is planningahead to try and make sure we arein the best possible position to copewith the challenges these will bring.Working with people like you,helping you to help your communitythrough the Your Callprogramme, is just one ofthe ways we can try to mi-nimise the impact of the cuts andstill deliver high quality services andchange lives for the better.Keeping residents updated on allaspects of the Council is importantand we will continue to keep youregularly updated. Further informationis available 24/7 on the Council’swebsite.The average Band D property willpay £1,486.46 in 2014/15.“WE CAN’T PUT MORESTRAIN ON THEPOCKETS OF HARDPRESSED ED RESIDENTSAND FAMILIES”- CouncillorAndy KaySpending is influenced by the following priorities:06Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council 07YOUR COUNCIL TAX BILL EXPLAINEDYour Council Tax Bill1 How and where you can contact the council.MR A N OTHER1 ANY STREETBLACKBURNAB1 2CDMR A N OTHER1 ANY STREETBLACKBURNAB1 2CD12345678XX.XXXX.XXXX.XX2 Your Council Tax account reference - to help us deal with yourenquiries more speedily, please use this reference if you contact us.3 Bar Code - This allows you to use your Council Tax bill to pay cash at anyPost Office or Paypoint outlet.4 A breakdown of how your bill is made up. Some bills will include aseparate charge if the household is served by a town or parish council.5 Where applicable, the percentage change to the Council Tax compared tothe previous financial year.6 The code reference for the parish to which your property belongs.7 The valuation band for your property.9 The amount of Council Tax due for the period shown.12345XXX.XXX.XX-X.XX10 Where applicable any discount and/or Council Tax Support (previouslyknow as Council Tax Benefit) that you have been granted. These arededucted from the annual charge.11 The total amount of Council Tax that is due on your account for2014/15 and where applicable, any arrears of Council Tax stilloutstanding for previous years.12 How and when your Council Tax is payable and any otherimportant information.£X.XXX.XXX.XXWhat to do if you have difficulties paying your Council TaxIf you have concerns about paying your Council Tax or what benefits you areentitled to contact the ‘Advice for All’ service. The service offers debt, welfare andhousing advice all in one place at Blackburn Central Library. It provides free, independentand high quality advice.Advice For AllAddress: Blackburn Central Library, Town Hall Street, BlackburnContact telephone numbers: 01254 266620 (Age UK) or 0844 245 1293 (CAB - 5p perminute from BT landline)www.blackburn.gov.uk/Pages/advice-for-all.aspxMore details about the budget log on to www.blackburn.gov.uk

For more information about all Council Services see www.blackburn.gov.uk The Shuttle 7NEW BOROUGH BUS SHELTER WORKCARRIED OUT BY LOCAL BUSINESSESWork on new bus shelters as part of aninnovative scheme has begun, and work isbeing carried out by local companies.The work is being carried out as part ofthe Pennine Reach scheme, a £40millionmajor transport project which is aimed atimproving the local bus network.Manufactured by Euroshel at their manufacturingfacility in Rawtenstall, a numberof local suppliers are supporting the manufacturingprocess as part of the £1.1m work.These include WEC Lasers in Darwenand Almond and Mellor polishers, who assistwith the preparation of the stainlesssteel, with localsuppliers alsoused for fittingsand other engineeringprocesses.The first busshelter was installedin Darwenrecently,and more will beinstalled as workprogresses.Cllr MaureenBateson, ExecutiveMember for“BUSINESSES WITHIN BOTHBLACKBURN WITH DARWEN,AND LANCASHIRE AS AWHOLE, BEING PART OF THISPROJECT ENSURES THAT OURCOMMUNITIES TRULY SEE THEBENEFIT FROM THIS MAJORINVESTMENT.”- CouncillorMaureenBatesonRegeneration said:“Utilising local companieson key projectssuch as Pennine Reach is a great wayto invest in local people. Businesses withinboth Blackburn with Darwen, and Lancashireas a whole, being part of this projectensures that our communities truly see thebenefit from this major investment.”BUYING LOCALSteve Hartley, Managing Director ofWEC, said: “As a community focused company,we believe that effective local procurementis the way forward and it is greatnews that we have been identifiedas the laser cutting contractorfor this new investment fromBlackburn with Darwen BoroughCouncil.“There are many local companieslike ours that are part ofthis new scheme and the benefitsfor employment in the localcommunity are undeniable.”PROUDBill Cross, Managing Directorof Euroshel said: “We are extremelyproud that a Lancashirefirm such as ours can contributeto the successful delivery of thePennine Reach project.”One of the new bus shelters installed in DarwenDo It OnlineIn order to help our Residents and businesses by improving and reducing the cost of the services that theCouncil provides, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s website can now deal with a whole range oftransactions and services.The benefits are:• It’s free• It’s quick and easy to use• It’s available whenever you need it - 24/7• By using the specially designed online forms you will be asked to provide all of the informationthat we need• Plus it means that we get the information through much faster, so we can process it faster• All from the comfort of your own home!If you don’t have access to the internet at work/home - self-service PCs are available for use at BlackburnTown Hall, Blackburn Central Library or Darwen Library.Council TaxMake a claim for a discount or exemption or tell us about a change affecting your Council Tax awww.blackburn.gov.uk/counciltaxBusiness RatesMake a claim for a discount, exemption or relief or tell us about a change affecting your Business Rates billat www.blackburn.gov.uk/businessratesBenefitsMake a new claim or to tell us about any changes which could affect your Housing Benefit/Council TaxSupport entitlement at www.blackburn.gov.uk/benefitsRegister now for your MYBwD AccountYou can now set up your own account on the Council website. By registering, you can keep track of allthe forms you fill in and issues you have reported to the Council using this account.It is dead simple, if you do online shopping or banking – it is even easier than that.At the moment, the service is available for environmental services including dog fouling, litter, stray dogs, fly-tipping andbroken streetlights. More forms are coming soon covering a wide range of other services. You can submit the forms at yourown convenience 24/7.It is available for use by all residents and businesses in the borough. Register for your account at www.blackburn.gov.ukGet the App!We also have a Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council phone app called “Your Call”.You can now report problems to us whenever you like and wherever you are. The app is available free of charge from theAndroid Market, Blackberry App World and by searching for “Your Call” on the Apple App store on your device.The reporting facilities allow you to take photos and mark the location of any issues you wish to report from around theborough if you have location services enabled on your smart-phone.If you use the app outside of the borough it will also automatically notify therelevant local authority.You can use the app to report a wide range of issues including Anti-socialbehavior, Benefit fraud, complaints, dog fouling, fly tipping, leisure centreenquiries, litter issues, missed bin collections, pot holes and much, much more.There are a number of other features such as: a news & events feed givingyou up to date information about what is happening in the borough, the localroadworks bulletin, jobs at the Council, refuse & recycling collection times andaccess to Blackburn with Darwen’s on-line library.SMS text messagingFrom April 14, 2014, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council isintroducing a text messaging service to alert residents when theyhave missed a Council Tax payment.If we have your mobile telephone number and you miss a Council Tax payment youmay receive a text message to remind you.Each month we have to issue reminder notices to a number of residents who, for a variety ofreasons, have not paid the latest instalment of their council tax.Issuing reminder notices costs a lot of money in terms of printing and postage, so to help to reduce this costthe Council is looking at other ways it can contact residents effectively, and hopefully prevent the need for formalrecovery notices being issued.Check out the Your Call mobile app - Report a wide range of issues at anytime of the day – available on Google Apps, iTunes and Blackberry World now.More details about the budget log on to www.blackburn.gov.uk

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