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Cumbria council launches cuts consultation as union fears for job losses

Spending cuts of up to £18 million have been proposed by Cumbria County Council as it battles to cut costs.

Union bosses claim up to 90 jobs will go if the budget cuts go ahead.

Unison has also highlighted a proposal to cut £1.1m from the children’s activities including advice, guidance and careers funds.

The council has now launched a public consultation on next year’s budget.

The authority wants to know people’s views and whether it should take a grant it has been offered by the Government.

It has earmarked several areas where it feels money could be saved, claiming at least £18m will be cut. These have been grouped into three categories.

The first is internal changes, designed to save £10.5m. This is money which was put aside but not used for its originalpurpose.

Secondly, the council has proposed a cut of £5.2m to its services, with the aim of making these more efficient. Examples include restructuring the highways services and drawing up new IT contracts.

The final amount is to save £2.2m by changing its services. Scaling back children’s activities are among the proposals. This would include reducing funding for careers advice for young people.

The council also has to decide whether to accept a council tax freeze grant, which would be paid to it over two years. In this time it could only raise council tax by one per cent, half of its proposed increase.

If it does accept this, the council needs to find a further £2m to save, taking its total to £20m. Council leader Eddie Martin said the council had saved £64m over the last two years by “re-engineering” its services but that this had not been an easy task.

He added: “At a minimum we have to save another £18m, probably more. We’ve pulled together proposals to achieve that but we need to know what the public think; which of the many services we provide could we or should we reduce?

“Additionally we have to make a decision about whether to accept the Government’s offer of a council tax freeze grant.

“Of course, we want to avoid increasing council tax if we can, but accepting the offer would actually mean finding even more savings that may affect services.

“This is a difficult decision and I want to hear from local people about what they think we should do.”

The consultation runs until January 31, next year, with the budget being voted on in February.

The proposals document can be found at the council’s website

Hard copies are available at libraries, or by calling 01228 221023.

Have your say

Yes what a good idea get rid of surplus Management.

Brighton and Hove Green Party have suggested a 2% Council Tax increase to save their Services,the maximum before a referendum is needed to the peoples,apparently. This coupled with getting rid of Management structure that fail to implement effective Management sounds like a brilliant idea,so long as they do not get a big pay off. Same would be good for Hospitals.

What say you Happy ex ccc worker??

Posted by Pete on 29 November 2012 at 09:39

The leader of the council reminds us that £50millions in savings are needed over the next year or so, can I remind the people of Cumbria that this government like the one before it is giving £53millions PER DAY to the EU. How many schools could be improved, potholes filled, care homes kept open, redundancies stayed etc? Only UKIP will extricate us from this EU state.Time for a change of direction I think.

Posted by Michael Owen on 28 November 2012 at 17:30

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