THE leader of Allerdale council is encouraging people to have their say on next year’s budget.

Allerdale council has begun the process of setting its budget for the 2020/21 financial year, which is due to be submitted for approval in March.

Leader Marion Fitzgerald said: “Our intention is to share all the information about what possibilities there are for next year’s budget and get as much feedback as possible.

“I’d like to urge people to take part in the consultation, we do value public opinion.

“We’ve already had a better response than in previous years and we’d like more people to get involved.”

Over the next three years the council needs to deliver savings or find alternative ways of generating income to address a funding gap of around £2.2m. Government contributions to councils are falling and the authority is also considering how to deliver new services in the future.

For example, Coun Fitzgerald said the Government was introducing regulatory changes which means councils may have to collect food waste from 2023.

Options on the consultation include: introducing a charge for garden waste collection, saving the council £500,000 a year; introducing a charge for replacement bins, creating a saving of £100,000; moving to fortnightly bin collections for general household waste, with estimated savings to the council of £200,000.

Coun Fitzgerald said other ways to address the funding gap include delivering efficiencies as a council and use of its assets.

“Waste is an important part of the services the council provides, but the budget is about more than that.

“Although we are the billing authority, we only keep a tiny proportion of people’s council tax.”

Allerdale council is also proposing to limit the increase on its portion of the annual council tax bill to one per cent. This would mean an extra £1.73 a year on a Band D property.

Coun Fitzgerald added the council had set out a 10-year strategy, with the ultimate aim of becoming self-sufficient by 2030.

To respond to the consultation visit