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Friday, 27 February 2015

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More than 800 respond to plans to cut Cumbria council services

More than 800 people have responded to controversial plans to cut a raft of services in a bid to save £80 million.

Jo Stephenson photo
Jo Stephenson

Cumbria County Council needs to make the huge savings over the next three years.

It blames government cuts in funding for local authorities which amount to about £1 in every £4 being removed, which the council used to receive to pay for local services.

The county council is holding its biggest ever budget consultation calling for feedback on the various money-saving proposals.

So far there have been more than 800 responses while the consultation website has had nearly 3,000 unique visitors and 20,000 page views since its launch in October.

But time is running out for members of the public to have their say on the plans.

Jo Stephenson, deputy leader of Cumbria County Council, said: “I would urge people who haven't had their say on our budget proposals to do it as soon as possible.

“There's just a week to go and I would encourage anyone who has thought about responding but has not yet taken the time, to make sure their voice is heard.”

The council has put forward a list of 35 money-saving options.

It comes after 742 jobs were lost within the authority as it made cuts of £88m between 2010 and 2013.

The latest proposals include cutting bus subsidies, switching off street lights, new charges for residents’ and on-street parking, removing fire engines and increasing council tax.

However, the council would not confirm which of the proposals have prompted the highest number of responses.

The consultation is due to end on January 20 before the feedback is considered 10 days later.

Mr Stephenson added: “There are no easy solutions. The scale of the reductions in government funding for local councils means some services will have to change and some will have to stop.

“This consultation is an opportunity for people in Cumbria to have their say on the council's ideas for how this could achieved.”

Visit www.cumbria.gov.uk/ourfuture or pick up a copy of the consultation document from local libraries to have your say.


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