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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Cumbria County Council needs to save £24.5m

Cumbria County Council must find £24.5million of savings in the next financial year.

The figure is £6.5million higher than expected.

It was revealed after the government announced before Christmas that it would cut the funding it gives the council next year by 7.1 per cent.

The council is already consulting on £18million of planned spending cuts.

Now it has to find at least an extra £4.5million, or £6.5 million if it decides next month to freeze the county council’s share of council tax from April.

Deputy leader Stewart Young told the authority’s cabinet yesterday the council will have to make further savings of £18.5m for 2014/15 and an extra £23.7m for 2015/16.

Coun Young said: “The reality is the figure the Government gave at the time of the Comprehensive Spending Review of a 28 per cent reduction in grants has in reality been a 33 per cent reduction. The real challenges will be after the next election. It will get more difficult as the low hanging fruit has now been picked.”

Council leader Eddie Martin said: “We will be saving over £130m a year by 2015/16. You can’t cut by that amount without seeing changes on the ground.

“Finding savings in the future is going to be increasingly problematic and it will impact on frontline services.”

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