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News  »  Cumbria County Council's Cabinet agree and launch the Councils Public Budget Consultation 'Securing our Future'

   Cumbria County Council's Cabinet agree and launch the Councils Public Budget Consultation 'Securing our Future'    20 January, 2015

This document highlights the challenge ahead and also indicates that over next three year the council is likely to lose a further 1,800 jobs as we intensify our efforts to save £83 million in an effort to balance our books by 2018.

Most of the savings affect the way the council is organised, but some will affect services directly – so the council is keen to hear everyone’s views. In the consultation we are also seeking everyone’s opinion on a 2% rise in the county council’s share of council tax.

Changes affecting services and external organisations include: reforms in the way health and social care services are delivered so there's a greater focus on independent living and a tighter remit on commissioning; cuts in grants to partner organisations including the Lake District National Park and Cumbria Tourism; and reductions in funding for recycling. The council is also proposing to save money in the long run with extra investment in the road network and increasing tourism spend in the county by supporting key activities like the Tour of Britain.

More than three-quarters (79%) of next year's proposed savings are ‘internal’ ones to be delivered within the four walls of the organisation. This will involve changes to the way the council manages its money and works with partners or contractors to deliver services.

The consultation document also explores the potential savings that could be made from having one or two unitary councils in Cumbria. This work indicates that one unitary council could achieve between £22 million and £27 million of savings across county council and district council budgets. Having two unitary councils could achieve savings of between £13 million and £16 million. This work is based on 2013/14 data.

This would help ease the financial strain and protect some services, but our consultation document makes it very clear that this is not the council’s decision to make.

The county council is very keen to hear as many views as possible on the difficult road ahead so that councillors can make informed choices when they agree the Budget in February 2015 and we would appreciate your help in getting as many people as possible to respond to our consultation. Therefore we would be grateful if you could forward the link to our budget consultation on to as many of your contacts, partners and other organisations as possible.

All of the savings proposals, issues of discussion and further background on the scale of the challenge are available www.cumbria.gov.uk/budgetconsultation and the consultation document is also being circulated through libraries and council offices. The consultation, which is now open, will run until 20 January 2015.

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