EDEN District Council last night agreed its budget for the 2014/15 municipal year. Councillors agreed a rise of 1.99 per cent - in line with inflation - that works out at an extra seven pence a week for a Band D property. The council’s Resources Portfolio Holder, Coun Kevin Beaty, said: "These are extremely challenging times financially for local government but once again we have agreed a budget without any reductions to our services for residents. “This will help us to meet the key challenges facing the council and maintain services that our residents value, such as weekly refuse collections, public toilets and the popular Eden Community Fund.” Council Leader, Coun Gordon Nicolson said: "This budget includes a major investment of some £500,000 in economic development. This has allowed us to support a successful county council bid for a major road improvement in Penrith. We are also looking to create more employment opportunities for young people and higher wage employment through our M6 Corridor initiative with Cumbria LEP. "This budget maintains our efforts to provide more affordable housing and we will continue our policy of allocating money from developers and from New Homes Bonus monies to support the growth of affordable homes. We will continue to support local communities through the Eden Community Fund. We have committed to a major programme to rationalise and upgrade the council's footway lighting stock in consultation with parish and town councils. "I am proud the council has agreed the budget, this highlights the strength of our decision making over the past three years, when despite the government reducing our revenue support grant (by £450,000 in 2014/15), we have still maintained our core services. In this budget we are passing all the money we receive from government to support parish precepts. “Councillors allowances remain frozen and staff will receive a modest pay increase in line with national agreements.” More information about the council’s budget is at available at www.eden.gov.uk.