LETTER: Give us your budget views

There are now three weeks left to have your say in Cumbria County Council’s budget savings consultation.

The government is taking a big bite out of the county council’s budget as part of its efforts to balance the nation’s books.

The reduction in funding is equivalent to around one in every four pounds which the council used to receive to pay for local services.

The council has already delivered £88million in savings since 2010 and now need to find a further £80million over the next three years – with £24.4million of this coming next year (2014/15).

For the last nine weeks, we have been asking for people’s views on 35 separate savings proposals which, added together, would deliver around half of the savings which the council needs to find by 2017.

Proposals include changes that would reduce back-office costs; put prevention before cure when it comes to health, safety and wellbeing; and see the council working with communities to develop local solutions to some of the challenges facing different parts of Cumbria.

There are also proposals where, due to the scale of savings needed, the council would stop doing some things and do other things differently.

There are no easy solutions but in in putting forward these saving propositions we have been determined not to undermine our responsibilities to vulnerable people in Cumbria.

This is why there are no proposals to close children’s centres or reduce support for children in care, or at risk of harm.

Nor are there are there any proposals to reduce front-line social care services for older people, or the council's support for credit unions and other essential welfare services.

There are now three weeks left until the consultation closes on January 20.

To make sure your voice is heard please take some time to look through the propositions and feedback either online at www.cumbria.gov.uk/ourfuture, or by picking up a copy of the consultation document from your local library.

 

Councillor Jo Stephenson

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources Cumbria County Council

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