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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Cumbria council wants 'big, open conversation' over future cuts

Cumbria County Council will have £200 million less to spend on local services each year by 2018 – equivalent to about £870 for every household.

Cumbria County Council photo
Jo Stephenson

The council has already saved £88m and identified a further £39m of savings by moving money from the back-room to the frontline and taking difficult decisions on services.

The council says the scale of savings which the government is asking it to make means a more fundamental approach is needed to identify the remaining £70m which the council needs to find over the next three years.

At a meeting in Kendal yesterday, councillors agreed to a consultation process to identify and develop savings proposals for the full three-year period.

The consultation, on specific savings options, will take place from the autumn, so that everyone can have input before a budget is agreed in February 2015.

Jo Stephenson, deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, said: “We can’t avoid the fact that the council is losing one in every four pounds which it used to receive to pay for local services as part of the government’s efforts to tackle the national deficit.

"That is why we want to have a big, open conversation.”

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