COUNCIL house rents in Ellesmere Port and Neston could be reduced on average by £6.68 a month for the next year.

The move follows a decision by Cheshire West and Chester Council to make a bid for additional Government subsidy for authority-owned housing.

The £525,000 grant is being offered for 12 months in response to the economic downturn.

Cllr Lynn Riley, portfolio holder for area and community services, said: “The average weekly rent of £56.80 a week would go down to £55.13 – a saving of more than £6.50 a month.

“If our bid to the Government is successful, we will reduce rents as soon as we possibly can. We hope this will help people on fixed and low incomes.

“The measure is for the whole of this financial year so therefore any reduction missed for this April and May will be added on to later months.”

Council leader Cllr Mike Jones added: “This modest but timely rent reduction for 12 months would I am sure be warmly welcomed by our 5,600 tenants. Its main purpose is to help fight the recession.

“And as soon as we find out if the funding application has been successful, rents will be reduced following a necessary 28 day period of notification of the change to tenants.”

Rents would return to their normal level, plus next year’s rise, after that period.